PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez could begin swinging a bat Wednesday, as he works his way back from a sprained right middle finger which has kept him off the field since Aug. 4.
Gonzalez originally suffered the injury on July 7, and he had two other flareups before finally going on the disabled list. MRI results confirmed the sprain, which is defined as a slight tear of a ligament. The ligament can't fully heal until he has total rest, like he will in the offseason, but the time on the disabled list could promote some healing and leave him at less risk for reinjury after returning.
"He's getting better, but we knew the situation -- his finger is not going to be 100 percent at any time for the rest of the year," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's something we'll have to deal with when he comes back, but hopefully it's something that's calmed down."
Gonzalez, who is hitting .302 and leading the team in home runs with 26 and RBIs with 70, is most at risk when chasing low-and-outside pitches from a left-handed pitcher. Weiss said he will consider resting Gonzalez against lefties, but beyond that, there isn't much he can do to prevent the odd swing that causes pain.
Rookie Corey Dickerson (.318, 2 HR, 8 RBIs) and Charlie Blackmon (.259, 3 HR, 9 RBIs) have been primary outfield fill-ins.
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.