Yelich to start rehab stint Sunday

Outfielder could rejoin Marlins as early as Thursday

Yelich to start rehab stint Sunday

MIAMI -- Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich will begin his rehab assignment on Sunday playing for Class A Jupiter. If all goes well, the 23-year-old could be ready to rejoin the Marlins later next week.

On the disabled with a lower back strain, Yelich took batting practice on Saturday at Marlins Park. All signs are encouraging, and the 2014 National League Gold Glove-winning left fielder is hopeful to reinstated on Thursday at San Francisco.

The club isn't setting a firm date on when Yelich will be ready, but the tentative plan is for him to play Sunday, Monday and probably Tuesday with the Hammerheads.

"We'll see how he feels and how he does," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's feeling good. He's going to take BP today."

Yelich, who was dealing with back discomfort since April 12, last played on April 19 at the Mets.

The ailment led to a slow start, where he is batting .200 with one double and four RBIs in 11 games.

An MRI revealed Yelich is dealing with a bulging disk, but he's been making steady progress.

"I feel fine," Yelich said. "I'm going to play [Sunday], Monday and Tuesday in Jupiter. I'm shooting for the first day back in San Fran."

After wrapping up their homestand against the Phillies on Sunday, Miami travels to Washington for three games. Yelich is eligible to be reinstated as early as Tuesday. But it appears he will miss that series, and is aiming for the first of four at San Francisco.

"He will go out and play Sunday, and we'll know more how he's feeling," Redmond said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.