Berry getting closer to return to field

Berry getting closer to return to field

Berry getting closer to return to field

MILWAUKEE -- When he first returned last month after being treated for cancer on his tonsils and lymph nodes, third-base coach Mark Berry hoped to be back on the baselines just before the All-Star break next week.

Berry is almost there, but not quite. Bench coach Chris Speier has remained at third base all season, while Miguel Cairo has served as interim bench coach.

"Now that I've gotten to this point, I still don't feel quite right," Berry said on Monday. "Going through what I went through, I've got to feel like I am normal. I feel like I'm close. I still get a little too fatigued sitting through a whole game. I find myself having to go sit inside the clubhouse for an inning or two. It wouldn't be fair to the team, Chris or anybody else to not be 100 percent out there."

Berry has recently started hitting grounders to players with the fungo bat, including Monday afternoon to first baseman Joey Votto. He is now on his second road trip with the team, sits in on meetings and has generally helped wherever he can.

Diagnosed with cancer near the end of Spring Training in March, Berry dropped 41 pounds after chemotherapy and radiation. He said he has put 14 pounds back on over the past five weeks since treatments ended.

"My strength is getting better," Berry said. "I'm starting to work out in the gym too -- that's a plus. Things are moving in the right direction. When I am ready, it's going to be a day-to-day thing. I need to show up and feel normal for maybe a week."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.