Taking BP, Votto nearing return to Reds

Taking BP, Votto nearing return to Reds

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have yet to put a timetable on a return for Joey Votto, but they may have one set by the end of the weekend.

Votto, who has been out of the lineup since July 16 with a meniscus tear in his left knee, has slowly begun to resume baseball activities and took batting practice Friday and Saturday for the first time since his surgery July 17.

Head trainer Paul Lessard said he wasn't at liberty to judge the mechanics of Votto's swing but said the All-Star first baseman was relatively pain free in the cages.

"He was feeling fine, which is what matters to me. He's progressing," said Lessard, who couldn't pinpoint exactly where Votto stood on the road to recovery. "Really the last few days, he's been doing all baseball activities. It's kind of hard to say right now percentage-wise.

The Reds were 15-3 in Votto's absence but are still eager to get his .342 batting average, 14 home runs and 49 RBIs back in the lineup.

"We'll probably meet later on today or tomorrow and set up a program for this coming week," Lessard said. "We're just trying to get through this weekend right now."