CINCINNATI -- The last time Ryan Ludwick was seen on the field, the Reds outfielder was in pain after separating his right shoulder following a head-first slide on Opening Day. The injury required surgery to repair a torn labrum and a lengthy rehabilitation.
Ludwick is poised to turn a big corner in his comeback effort and could begin a rehab assignment early next week.
"As long as this weekend goes well, no setbacks or something, he'll start the rehab assignment," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said.
Ludwick has taken batting practice with the team on Thursday and Friday. He had been hitting on his own for about the last 10 days.
"He looked real good," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Ludwick's Thursday session. "These other guys are four months ahead of him, and he's kind of a slow starter anyway. ... We have to give him enough at-bats so when he comes back, it's not Spring Training."
By rule, Ludwick's rehab assignment in the Minors can last up to 20 days. He has long been targeting an August return to the Reds' lineup.