MIAMI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who is on the disabled list after having surgery July 11 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, took ground balls Thursday for the first time since having the operation, and he got through it with no issues.
"He's got a really great brace that protects his thumb from being bent to the wrong position when fielding," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday. "The great thing about it is he's able to continue working on his footwork and stay in baseball shape and throw, which is very important. He's still a ways away from being able to swing the bat."
Phillips remains on track to return sometime in late August.
"He's champing at the bit to go faster," Price said. "I don't know if this is an injury you can really rush to completion."
Players on the DL for extended periods, like Phillips, often don't travel with the club on road trips. Price felt he wanted Phillips to be on this trip, however.
"I think it's very difficult for our guys on the DL to not be with the team for extended periods," Price said. "We had the All-Star break. He had the surgery just before the All-Star break and then we had New York and Milwaukee [trips] when he wasn't with us. He really wants to be with our group of guys."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.