Votto improving, but no date set for return

Votto improving, but no date set for return

PHOENIX -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto, currently on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps, took batting practice and ran Friday back in Cincinnati after taking ground balls on Thursday. Votto hit against the club's left-handed batting-practice pitcher, Tim Burman.

Slowly, Votto's injury has improved but he is not expected to be activated Saturday when he is eligible.

"The pain has declined. The strength is increasing. It's not great yet but it's increasing," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said.

The club still lacks a target date for when Votto might return.

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.