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Encarnacion still a few weeks away

Encarnacion still a few weeks away

MILWAUKEE -- Even though the Reds could use an extra hitter with Joey Votto on the disabled list, they won't be getting injured third baseman Edwin Encarnacion back anytime soon.

Encarnacion, who has been on the 15-day DL with a chip fracture in his left wrist, spent Sunday hitting soft tosses in the indoor batting cage. He will begin taking regular batting practice sometime this week in St. Louis.

"Edwin is going to at least be a couple of more weeks," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday. "He was hitting .127 when he left, so he has to go get some at-bats. I already talked to him about it. I said I'd rather you [be] over-ready when you come back than under-ready. We can't, and he can't, afford to struggle when you get back."

Encarnacion has been out since April 28, and the Reds have successfully used a combination of Jerry Hairston Jr. and Adam Rosales at third base.

"I never thought it would be this long," Encarnacion said. "I have to make sure I'm 100 percent when I go back in."

Encarnacion has also been taking ground balls and testing his wrist without issue. There was no word on when he would begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

"After I hit BP, I will see how close I am," said Encarnacion, who has one home runs and six RBIs in 19 games. "There's a big difference between BP and soft toss when someone is throwing to you. I want to be back soon. I feel no pain right now swinging."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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