Hairston set to return from disabled list

Hairston set to return from DL

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Jerry Hairston Jr. will rejoin the Reds for Thursday's series finale at Toronto after he completed a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville.

Hairston spent three games at Louisville rehabbing a broken left thumb he sustained while stealing a base against the Marlins on June 9. After he went 1-for-3 on Wednesday, he was taken out in the fourth inning of Louisville's game vs. Rochester in anticipation of his activation from the 15-day disabled list.

The move isn't likely to be made official until Thursday. It's possible that slumping rookie shortstop Paul Janish could be sent down. Another possiblity is third baseman Edwin Encarnacion could be put on the DL if his lower back spasms don't improve.

Hairston went 4-for-12 with a double, two runs scored and a strikeout during his rehab stint. He played shortstop on Monday and Tuesday before he moved to center field on Wednesday.

"[Reds manager] Dusty [Baker] is the one who set up his schedule," Louisville manager Rick Sweet said. "Dusty wanted him at shortstop for two games and in center field for one."

Hairston is one of five players to start at shortstop for the Reds this season and filled in strongly after Alex Gonzalez and Jeff Keppinger, Cincinnati's No. 1 and No. 2 options at the position, went down with injuries. Keppinger returned from the DL on Sunday.

Hairston is batting .336 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 40 games -- including 22 starts at shortstop -- with the Reds this season.

Brandon Harris is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.