PITTSBURGH -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell admitted Saturday that Eric Sogard had "plateaued" in his recovery from a sprained left ankle, so the veteran utility man received a cortisone injection on Friday to help stop the inflammation.
So far, that injection has helped. Sogard said before the Brewers' series opener against the Pirates on Monday at PNC Park that his ankle is getting better each day, and his goal is to start a rehab assignment later in the week.
"So far [the cortisone injection] has been doing the trick," Sogard said. "I am hoping to maybe get out on an rehab assignment this week … really more to just test the ankle than anything, just to make sure it will hold up after playing a couple of games."
Sogard has consistently produced at the plate this season, slashing .331/.438/.485 since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on May 12, but he hasn't played in a game since July 4. The Brewers placed him on the 10-day disabled list on July 6.
Sogard participated in batting practice and ran on the field on Monday in Pittsburgh. The plan, Counsell said, is to evaluate Sogard daily until he is able to do everything at full speed.
"After tomorrow, we will make a determination what's next," Counsell said. "I would say so far, today has been a positive day, but that's where we are at. We got to have a couple positive days in a row -- string a couple together -- then I think we would be looking good. We are at the point where we would try to get Eric ready for a short rehab assignment.
"We are pushing Eric. This is the stage of the season where you want your guys out there."
Another silver lining for the Brewers is that Jonathan Villar has been playing well in Sogard's absence. After hitting .207 in his first 67 games this season, Villar entered Monday's opener against the Pirates on an eight-game hitting streak.
Counsell said right-hander Chase Anderson (left oblique strain) could throw a bullpen session as early as the Brewers' next homestand.
"We are moving along well with Chase," Counsell said. "The trainers have been very encouraged by his progress."
Anderson was in the midst of a breakout season with a 2.89 ERA through his first 16 starts. His last outing was on June 28 when he lasted only one inning before being removed due to his injury.