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Rockies expect to benefit from Tulo's return

Rockies expect to benefit from Tulo's return

Rockies expect to benefit from Tulo's return

DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, still dealing with soreness from a broken rib, did not have as long a midseason break as others. That's what happens when one plays in the All-Star Game. But he does not see the pain hampering his production.

His ribs were hurting before he came out of a June 13 game against the Nationals after making a dive. An MRI exam later revealed the break. But Tulowitzki came out healthy after playing three of the four games against the Dodgers in the final days before the break. The All-Star Game was uneventful, but he did dive once and did not suffer re-injury.

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"It's just general soreness, and you deal with soreness throughout the year anyway," said Tulowitzki, who wears thin padding to protect the rib. "It's not something I haven't dealt with before. Even before the injury, I was in the same situation I'm in now. It was sore.

"I feel good. I wouldn't have played in L.A. or the All-Star Game if I wasn't up for it. No doubt, I'm not going to lie. There's still soreness in the area, but good enough to go out there and play."

The in-house wisdom says the Rockies were a better-than-.500 team before Tulowitzki (.332, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs in 64 games this season) left the lineup. He went 0-for-10 in Los Angeles but is expected to perform to standards, at which point the Rockies expect to win big. They entered Friday 46-50 but just 4 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading D-backs.

Tulowitzki, who started the All-Star Game, prefers to let others make that assessment.

"I feel I definitely help when I'm out there, but I would never go on record saying I'm going to be the difference," Tulowitzki said. "There are too many guys that play a part in this thing. We need everybody."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss spent the first half monitoring Tulowitzki because of his issues with leg muscle injuries, such as the right groin injury that limited him to 47 games last year. Now, he is also monitoring the ribs. But the honest back-and-forth helped Tulowitzki perform well enough to receive early NL Most Valuable Player consideration before the injury, and Weiss expected the success to continue.

Friday night's game against the Cubs was the first of 17 straight days with a scheduled game.

"We'll play it by ear," Weiss said. "It'll all depend on how well he responds to going out here and playing. That was the plan breaking Spring Training. That was the plan in the first half. It'll be the plan moving forward.

"We also know we've got to have him on the field. We want him out there, but a lot of that will depend on how he feels from day to day."

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.

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