CINCINNATI -- Reds third baseman Scott Rolen is optimistic about returning this season.
Rolen, who's been on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury since July 22, has taken ground balls the past two days and planned to take batting practice in the cage on Sunday.
"I feel good," Rolen said. "I've been taking grounders, hitting in the cage. Taking some flips and stuff. I'm close to getting back on the field. I'm not too far away."
Rolen said undergoing surgery earlier this month to clean out the shoulder was the right decision, and it's helped accelerate his rehab.
"I was in no-man's land there for a while," he said. "It was absolutely the right decision. I'm seeing the difference in the swings, just with the flips. Is that going to translate on the field? I hope so."
Rolen is batting .242 with five home runs and 36 RBIs in 65 games. This is his second stint on the DL for his left shoulder.
Rolen hopes to discuss a rehab assignment soon, although Triple-A Louisville's season ends on Sept. 4.
"I don't expect to be 100 percent pain-free," Rolen said. "But my shoulder is working great. I'm swinging [the bat] aggressively. It's been [awhile] since I've seen a pitch. I have to see how my body responds. We'll see about rehab assignments here pretty soon."