Helton's recovery process slow-going

Helton's recovery process slow-going

PHOENIX -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton hopes to return from his left forearm strain next Sunday, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list. However, Helton first must be able to swing a bat without setting himself back. That process is not going speedily.

Helton last played on April 19. After a slow start, he hit .268 with three doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs. His absence has been felt this week, as the Rockies have struggled for hits with runners in scoring position.

"It still isn't better," Helton said. "I can't do anything until it gets better."

Meanwhile, right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, on the disabled list with a back strain, had no undue soreness after Saturday's 40-pitch bullpen session, and is on track to return next Sunday to start against the Rays. Chacin will throw in an extended spring game on Tuesday.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.