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Tulo allowing Rox to determine rehab speed, course

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DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki did movement and fielding drills before batting practice, then hit and took grounders during batting practice before Friday night's game against the D-backs at Chase Field.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said it would be a stretch to say Tulowitzki could be back in a week, but he is moving closer to returning to help the team attempt to avoid its third straight last-place finish in the National League West. Tulowitzki said he has turned the schedule over to head athletic trainer Keith Dugger.

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"They know me too well," Tulowitzki said. "They figure I might test it out and end up further injuring myself. I just listen to them."

Running the bases will be a key challenge.

Tulowitzki's .340 batting average leads all Major Leaguers. Before the left hip flexor strain on July 19, he had a run of health that had him in the NL Most Valuable Player Award conversation despite the team's poor record. He still has a chance to finish strong.

Before the injury, Tulowitzki credited his lengthy pregame and postgame maintenance routines for keeping him as healthy as he was. Still, Tulowitzki understands that ever since suffering a left quadriceps tear in 2008, he was going to be susceptible to leg muscle injuries. So he'll go back to the drawing board this offseason.

"You know me," Tulowitzki said. "I'm always trying to improve and add things to my ritual and in my offseason workouts, and hopefully it helps me out.

"After that injury in '08, I was going to have to overcome some things, just because the muscle doesn't fire anymore, so the muscles around it have to be stronger."

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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