Giancarlo preparing to return -- if possible

Slugger sustained Grade 3 left groin strain on Aug. 13

Giancarlo preparing to return -- if possible

MIAMI -- Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is hopeful to play at some point late in the season. Stopping short of making any predictions, the slugger said his body will let him know if it is possible.

Stanton sustained a Grade 3 left groin strain on Aug. 13, and the best-case scenario for a return would be late September. But even if it is for a few games, Stanton's presence could impact the postseason race, should Miami stay in contention.

"Anything could help," Stanton said. "Whatever I could do to be back, if it's possible, is going to happen."

Since the injury, Stanton has been rehabbing and working towards being healthy enough to start jogging. He has yet to reach that point. Any chance of a return will be based on not experiencing any setbacks.

"I'm going day by day," Stanton said. "Obviously, that's the goal [playing again], but whatever my body is going to tell me to do."

Stanton was hurt trying to stretch a single into a double on the final play of an 8-7 loss to the White Sox at Marlins Park.

Stanton shaken up on final play

Thursday was the first time the slugger spoke with the media since the injury. While running the bases, Stanton knew he would be out for a while.

"That something came off the bone, for sure," Stanton said. "Yeah, I could kind of slow-motion feel every little bit of that come off."

This is the third straight year Stanton's season has been cut short by a serious injury. In 103 games, he was batting .244/.329/.496 with 25 home runs and 70 RBIs.

In 2015, he appeared in 74 games, missing the entire second half due to a broken left hamate bone.

Whether the Marlins are in the race or not late in the season, Stanton is aiming to play or at least be positioned to play.

"Either way, the fastest way to get back is what I'm going to do," Stanton said. "Having seven, eight months off from baseball last year messed up my overall [body] clock.

"Whether I play or not, I'm going to run my body as if I'm still in season until the season is over. Everything is going to be done to be back. If not, I'm still going to have my body to be prepared, either way. That's the plan."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.