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Rox hoping that Cuddyer can return this week

Rox hoping that Cuddyer can return this week

Rox hoping that Cuddyer can return this week

DENVER -- After missing his third consecutive game Sunday -- an 8-7 win over the Padres -- right fielder Michael Cuddyer said he is hopeful that the team's day off Monday will allow him to return to the lineup Tuesday.

Cuddyer has been one of the Rockies most productive and dependable bats this year. He was hitting .339 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs before he suffered a rib strain in Thursday night's loss to the Padres. The injury occurred when he ran out a ground ball for the final out of the game, colliding with the Padres' first baseman and landing on the ground with his elbow pushed into his upper rib cage.

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"He had a bunch of treatment today, he had another day off tomorrow and we're hoping for Tuesday," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Sunday.

Usually hitting from the No. 5 spot, Cuddyer has acted as the third piece to Colorado's lethal 3-4 duo of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, so it comes as welcome news for Rockies fans that Cuddyer should not be out for an extended period.

"We still feel fairly confident that we won't have to DL him," Weiss said.

Weiss also said there is no correlation between Cuddyer's rib strain and the oblique strain that knocked him out for the final third of last season. He suffered the injury at the end of July and played only three more games in 2012.

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

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