Former National League MVP Kris Bryant is headed to Salt Lake City.
The Colorado Rockies’ third baseman was placed on the 10-day injured list late last month because of a back issue. As part of a rehab assignment, Bryant is expected to join the Albuquerque Isotopes and play games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Salt Lake Bees, according to a report from The Athletic.
“If all checks right, he’ll be back with the Rox on Friday,” The Athletic’s Nick Groke reported on Twitter.
Bryant, who was sidelined with a sore back three weeks ago, was on the field with his teammates for pregame warmups on Friday. The third baseman had a cortisone injection early last week, the Associated Press reported.
“I think I’ve had three of these before in different areas and I wasn’t really a believer in them,” Bryant told reporters on Friday. “Doing one in the back obviously wasn’t very comfortable, but hopefully I get a lot of relief from it. And so far, so good.”
Bryant spent about 15 minutes before Friday’s game against Kansas City doing some running and throwing in the outfield before taking swings in the cage for the first time since April, the Associated Press reported.
“No problems, so that’s a good sign. He’ll do that again (Saturday) with a little more activity and increase the intensity,” Colorado manager Bud Black told reporters. “Probably increase the number of swings as well. Probably go out and practice some defense as well. Probably do a little bit of that on Sunday morning as well, and then we’ll assess where he is.
“But it’s a good sign he’s back on the field and doing all baseball activities. He’s getting closer.”
Bryant signed a seven-year, $172 million free-agent deal with the Rockies in March. The four-time All-Star and 2016 National League MVP with the Chicago Cubs is batting .281 with four RBIs in his first season with Colorado. He has yet to hit a home run this season.
But Bryant was hopeful about his return after taking the field Friday.
“Obviously I wasn’t trying too hard but everything felt good,” he said. “It felt quick, arm feels good.”
The Bees (19-16) begin a six-game homestand against the Isotopes on Tuesday.