Hairston takes step toward recovery

Hairston takes step toward recovery

CINCINNATI -- There was a player named Hairston leading off Monday, but it was the wrong one as far as the Reds were concerned.

Scott Hairston was batting first for the Padres against the Reds. His older brother, infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr., has been on the 15-day disabled list for a week with a strained right hamstring. It's been hard for him to sit out.

"Now that my brother is in town too, I wish I was playing," Jerry Hairston said. "They came over last night. His family is in town. His wife and his kids. We went to lunch. I was glad to see he picked up the check. First time in 100 tries. It's always good to see him."

Scott Hairston, who is four years younger at 28, had 39 career home runs over five seasons entering the night -- including 15 this season. Jerry Hairston has 35 homers over 11 seasons, including two in 2008.

Some Reds players enjoyed illustrating that point.

"I don't know if I could have a little brother with more homers than me," left fielder Adam Dunn said.

Hairston, who was injured on July 13 at Milwaukee, was slated to be examined by medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek on Monday evening. Before the exam, he was optimistic about his progress.

"I'm supposed to start running tomorrow outside," Hairston said. "I've been doing pool work the last couple of days. It feels good. I just don't want to rush it. We have time."

If the running program goes well, Hairston said he wants to begin a rehab assignment by this weekend at Class A Dayton. The first day he's eligible to come off the DL is July 29, while the Reds are at Houston.

Hairston was one of Cincinnati's hottest hitters and was having a career year before he went down. The 32-year-old is batting .351 with 15 stolen bases in 56 games this season.

"I just need a couple of games, just so I can feel the bat in my hands," Hairston said.

In other injury news, right-handed starter Aaron Harang was also scheduled to have his strained right forearm examined by Kremchek. The Reds have proceeded with caution with Harang, who has been kept from doing any throwing until his arm is completely pain-free.

Harang is eligible to be activated from the 15-day DL on Wednesday, but there is no chance that will happen.

"He's been training and working, doing a lot of cardio," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He'll be in great shape when he gets back. Now we have to get his arm in shape. Hopefully he doesn't have any setbacks or more feeling in there. He said he's feeling pretty good, I understand."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.