Tulo ramps up rehab aiming for 2012 return

Tulo ramps up rehab aiming for 2012 return

Tulo ramps up rehab aiming for 2012 return
DENVER -- He's not ready to suit up for a big league game yet, but Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has ramped up his rehab work in hopes of reaching a comfort level that could get him back on the field before the season ends.

Tulowitzki has missed 101 games through Friday after going on the disabled list and undergoing surgery for a strained left groin.

"Tulo has been doing a lot of work," manager Jim Tracy said. "He's pushed himself beyond where he's been in previous days. [Head athletic trainer] Keith [Dugger] had him out early this afternoon, and my understanding is they did roughly a half-hour's worth of different types of running drills."

Tulowitzki also fielded grounders and has been taking infield practice through much of the month, getting some informal experience with rookie Josh Rutledge, who including Saturday has made 48 starts at shortstop -- one more than Tulo for the team high among six shortstops used this season -- but is penciled in to play second base next season.

"I think it's a combination of both -- mental and from the physical side of things. He knows exactly how it is that he feels," Tracy said of Tulowitzki's recovery process. "He realizes that, just like Jorge De La Rosa realized with his start the other day in San Francisco, that ramping yourself up to play a Major League game versus in a Minor League rehab game, there's a little bit more involved there.

"I think that he wants to feel in his mind like he's able to play the game and not have to think about different instinctive type reactions that he has to make. I don't think that he wants to be out there and play with a thought in his mind that, 'I have to think about this before I do it.' I don't think that that would be very conducive to anybody if we had him out there on the field in that state. I think that's why you see the extensiveness of the workouts that he's had here, so he can get himself beyond that and just go play."

Tulowitzki had hoped to return to the field much sooner, when he went on the DL on May 30, and if he can get game-ready before the end of the season, it should be a great relief to him going into the offseason.

"If the possibility is there for [Tulowitzki and other rehabbing Rockies] to participate again and as they go into the offseason have complete peace of mind, [it would be a benefit]," Tracy said.