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Denver • The Colorado Rockies are hoping to have shortstop Troy Tulowitzki back in the lineup for the final month of the season.
Not for a late-season playoff push way too late for that but simply for peace of mind.
Tulowitzki has been sidelined since late May with a groin ailment that eventually required surgery. The team wants him back on the field so he's not thinking about the injury all offseason.
There's also this: Rockies manager Jim Tracy hopes Tulowitzki can start building chemistry with infielder Josh Rutledge, who's recently been hampered by a sore left quadriceps and has only played sparingly.
"It's much more important that we get them involved in Major League Baseball game situations so, fingers crossed, we get a chance see them play together," Tracy said before Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tulowitzki was scheduled to play for Double-A Tulsa on Monday before returning to Denver for more evaluation. Should all go well, Tulowitzki will be sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs for a few more games and may be back in early September.
It's the same course of action for first baseman Jason Giambi, who's been out since late July with a viral syndrome. The target date for both Tulowitzki and Giambi to be back with the club could be as early as Saturday, when teams are allowed to expand their rosters.
Tulowitzki was injured May 30 against Houston, pulling up after running out an infield grounder. He was placed on the disabled list the next day.
On a rehab assignment with Colorado Springs in mid-June, Tulowitzki took himself out of the game when he didn't feel quite right. A week later, he underwent surgery to remove scar tissue.
Tulowitzki is hitting .287 this season with eight homers and 27 RBIs in 47 games.
The team has missed his leadership, sinking to last place in the NL West.
Outfielder Michael Cuddyer could be back this season as well. He has been bothered by a right oblique strain for most of August.
"It's better than it was a week ago," Cuddyer said.