DENVER -- With Double-A Tulsa eliminated from the Texas League playoffs after its first-round series with Springfield, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned to Denver Monday to have his progress in returning from a left groin injury evaluated by team trainers.
What isn't clear is how much progress Tulowitzki has made.
Tulowitzki, who hasn't played for the Rockies since late May and underwent surgery to remove scar tissue from the groin area in June, played nine innings Sunday for Tulsa. Tulowitzki has been feeling good physically but is still developing confidence that he can move at full speed without risking re-injury.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy still hopes to have Tulowitzki return before the Major League season is done, but only if Tulowitzki and the medical staff fully believe that he is no longer at risk.
"I cannot tell you guys any definitive date," Tracy said before Monday night's game against the National League West-leading Giants. "There are still some things that he's trying to work out, and I mean that physically. That being the case, I do not feel like we're sending this guy out in a Major League game less than himself because of the risk of something else happening and there being another visit into my office and them telling me it will be well into 2013 or late in 2013 before we see him again.
"We have [the Giants] that we're playing seven out of the next 10 days. Anybody that's had the experience to know what it's like to win a divisional championship or a Wild Card championship, there is a high level of intensity involved in these games, one club trying to get there, the other club trying to spoil the effort. Thinking you may have a player out there that may not be quite up to par, I don't think that's a real good place to go."