"I think it will say a lot about my progress," Votto said.
Votto has long been averse to identifying a timetable for his likely return from the disabled list. That hadn't changed.
"I don't know, but I think I've come a long way," Votto said. "I feel like I'm not too far off. I can't put a day on it, but I know I've come a long way and I don't think it's going to be too much longer."
Votto, 28, has not played in a game since July 15, and was batting .342 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs. Ironically, the Reds have played their best baseball without him, and entered the night 26-12 since July 16.
Watching the games at home or from the dugout, Votto has been pleased with what he's seen.
"I don't ever get ahead of myself or think I carry a team or anything along those lines. I think I fit in," Votto said. "This is a great example of how small an impact players can have. You lose a quarterback in the NFL, that team is in trouble. Look at [the Colts]. Or if you lose a big star in the NBA. That's not how baseball works. That's why, in my opinion, it's probably the best team sport."
When he was first out of the lineup last month, Votto seemed to relish the opportunity to refresh himself from the daily grind. That feeling has long since passed.
"I don't want to get hurt again. It's not been fun," Votto said. "As much time as I've been able to spend at home watching the team, watching the games ... I really miss playing. I miss being part of the team and putting the uniform on and feeling the pregame jitters on a daily basis. I wouldn't wish getting hurt on anybody."