DENVER -- For the first time in nearly three weeks, Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez took batting practice before Tuesday's game against the Giants.
Gonzalez has not played since Aug. 4 due to a sprained right middle finger that has bothered him since July 7, leaving the Rockies without one of the lineup's most potent bats. The injury made it difficult for him to swing, and the club finally opted for the DL after Gonzalez played through the pain and took occasional games off.
"It's way better now than it was," Gonzalez said after batting practice. "Even when I was doing dry swings before, I was unable to put any weight on my bat, but this feels better now -- way better than when I went to the DL."
Gonzalez said he fought through some soreness, but knows the finger won't fully heal until the offseason. To dampen the pain, he will keep the finger wrapped when he returns.
After sending several balls over the fence during batting practice, CarGo is confident he'll be making a rehab start soon.
"I want to go on a rehab as soon as I can ... probably in a few days," Gonzalez said. "Let's see what [the club] wants to do, but I want to play. We will wait and see where they send me."
Gonzalez was having a MVP-caliber season before the injury with a .302 average, 26 homers, 70 RBIs and a league-best .591 slugging percentage.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.