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Votto could start rehab assignment this week

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PHOENIX -- Reds manager Bryan Price was pleased to hear that injured first baseman Joey Votto has made good progress with a left quadriceps strain when the two spoke Saturday.

"He's feeling much, much better. I'm very encouraged by the conversation," Price said Sunday.

Votto, who has been working out in Cincinnati during the road trip, could begin a rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues sometime this week.

"We discussed the importance of it," Price said. "His situation -- with the soreness and the strength deficit he had when we went on the road to Philly and Washington -- was pretty significant. The only way really to have any understanding of if this is behind him is to play."

Votto has not played for the Reds since May 15 and went on the disabled list May 21. He was eligible for activation Saturday.

The plan was for Votto to have another workout Sunday, take Monday off to rest, and reassess on Tuesday.

"We'll get a chance to see him when we get back. We want to make sure he feels good for a couple of days," Price said.

Votto's rehab assignment would likely be at Triple-A Louisville or Class A Advanced Dayton and could be for one or two games.

"None of this stuff is written in stone," Price noted.

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.

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