Greinke not likely to return anytime soon

Greinke not likely to return anytime soon

PHOENIX -- D-backs starter Zack Greinke again threw from flat ground prior to Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, but it's become increasingly unlikely he will return for the series in Milwaukee early next week.

Greinke hasn't pitched since June 28 when he suffered left oblique tightness in a start against the Phillies. Arizona manager Chip Hale originally said there was potential for the right-handed ace to return for the series against the Brewers from July 25-28, but that may be less realistic at this point.

"[Head athletic trainer] Ken [Crenshaw] told me that he felt great and was pushing to do more, so that's good and we'll see if he steps on it today on the flat ground, and then we can start putting a schedule together with bullpens and when he can get back into a game," Hale said. "It's hard for me to believe he can make it back by [Milwaukee], but he's not like everybody else."

Greinke is 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 17 starts this season, his first in Arizona. Prior to the injury, he was providing the D-backs the type of starts they envisioned when they signed him to a six-year, $206.5 million deal this past offseason.

With two days off this week, the D-backs have been able to get by with just four starters in their rotation in Greinke's absence. That will change soon, however, as they'll need a fifth starter by Tuesday in Milwaukee at the latest.

Worth noting

• Outfielder David Peralta (lower back strain) is moving to Triple-A Reno to continue his rehab assignment. He went 1-for-6 with a double and a run scored in two games with Double-A Mobile on July 17-18. Hale said the best-case scenario for Peralta returning to the Majors is early next week in Milwaukee.

• Infielder/outfielder Chris Owings (left foot plantar fasciitis) continues to rehab in Triple-A. He went 4-for-6 with a triple and three runs scored in two games for Reno on July 16-17. He played outfield in both of those games, but with Peralta also coming to Triple-A, Owings will get some time at shortstop. Like Peralta, Hale said the best-case scenario for Owings' return is early next week in Milwaukee.

• Outfielder Socrates Brito (fractured right toe) took batting practice on Tuesday and is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment early next week.

Jake Rill is a reporter for based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.