Nursing ankle, Rockies' Nelson eager for break

Nursing ankle, Rockies' Nelson eager for break

Nursing ankle, Rockies' Nelson eager for break
WASHINGTON -- Just as he was establishing himself as a solid contributor at the lower part of the Rockies' lineup, infielder Chris Nelson suffered a right ankle injury that has affected his numbers and reduced his playing time.

Nelson twisted the ankle making a play against the Rangers on June 23. A career-best seven-game hit streak during which he hit .423 with two doubles and two homers ended two days later. In the seven games leading to Sunday, Nelson started just three of them and was 2-for-18 with one double and one RBI.

Nelson, who was on the Opening Day roster this year for the first time in his career, has played second base and third base. While trying to hobble through his injury -- swelling worked its way from his ankle to his heel -- Nelson has been used as a defensive replacement for Jordan Pacheco at third base late in games.

The All-Star break comes at a welcome time.

"This is good for a few people on the team, so I'm excited about it," Nelson said. "We were just trying to get to this All-Star break. When it felt good, I could go out there, but it's been touch-and-go, really. I've been trying to ignore it, but sometimes it gets a little bad."

Two injuries have contributed to two slumps. Nelson had a .219 batting average while playing through a wrist injury before he finally went to the disabled list in mid-May and missed 14 games. His average reached a high of .275. He has dropped to .256.

Pacheco entered Sunday hitting .297 in regular starts at third, but he's not exactly healthy. He has been playing through sore right quadriceps. Manager Jim Tracy said both could come back from the break close to totally healthy.