Dickerson likely to return this week

Dickerson likely to return this week

CINCINNATI -- Reds equipment manager Rick Stowe passed through the clubhouse and saw outfielder Chris Dickerson with dirty uniform pants after batting practice on Tuesday. Stowe was poised to show mock chagrin.

Dickerson had good reason to have a dirty knee -- he was practicing sliding as a final test before he can come off of the disabled list.

"Fortunately, I passed," said Dickerson, who has been out since Aug. 25 with a severely sprained left ankle. "I expressed my wanting to come back on Monday and Tuesday and really didn't get much of a response. I'm ready to go."

With this final week of the season in front of the Reds, activation from the DL could come soon, according to manager Dusty Baker.

However, don't expect to see Dickerson roaming the outfield in any of the remaining games. With the Minor League season over, he hasn't had the benefit of a rehab assignment to get into full game shape. He'll likely be limited to pinch-hitting and pinch-running.

"There isn't much of a chance he'll be [playing] in the field again," Baker said. "We can use him in situations. He worked hard to get back to this point. With the amount of time he spent on the DL, he didn't want to end the season on the DL."

While the Reds were on the road last week, Dickerson worked out with the baseball team at Xavier University. He also went over to the University of Cincinnati to do conditioning and throwing.

"It was basically a big week of working out at the area's fine institutes of higher learning," Dickerson said.

In 96 games this season, Dickerson is batting .277 with two home runs, 15 RBIs, 11 steals and a .373 on-base percentage. He will be part of a crowded outfield picture next season as he competes for a spot in Spring Training.

That's next year, however. Dickerson wants to squeeze all he can get out what's left of this year. The green light still awaits.

"We'll take a look at him and determine what I see," Baker said. "I know he's hated being on the DL."

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