Quentin likely to return but not right away

Quentin likely to return but not right away

Quentin likely to return but not right away

DENVER -- Left fielder Carlos Quentin, who has not played since July 30 because of a right knee strain, will not come off the disabled list Thursday, when he is first eligible.

San Diego manager Bud Black said Tuesday that Quentin was still experiencing some soreness in his knee. Quentin tested the knee Friday and Saturday in Cincinnati and reported soreness afterward.

"Carlos is in a situation where for him to do any baseball activities, it's painful, especially the defensive or on the running side," Black said. "He can get into his stance and hit, but we're staying away from that just to let the knee heal. He's feeling better but not to the extent where he can get on the field."

Black is hopeful that Quentin can return again this season, and he does not think this latest setback with Quentin's surgically repaired knee will keep him from playing again in 2013.

"I haven't heard anything close to that from the medical department that we're not going to see him; I'm optimistic we'll see him," Black said.

Quentin was hitting .273/.363/.493 in 82 games with 13 home runs and 45 RBIs.

The Padres' offense has struggled without him. In the 10 games Quentin has missed, the team has scored 27 runs and left 70 runners on base. In the last six games alone, the team is 3-for-55 with runners in scoring position.

"He hits in the middle of our order; he's a guy we count on for productivity," Black said, adding that "without him not in there, our other guys need to be productive. It's been awhile where we've sustained any consistent offense."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.