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Fowler nearing start of rehab assignment

PHILADELPHIA -- Astros outfielder Dexter Fowler, who has missed 34 games with a strained intercostal, said Wednesday he could begin a Minor League rehab assignment within the next week, barring any setbacks.

He's been hitting off a tee and was scheduled to take batting practice on the field prior to Wednesday's game, but the Astros hit inside instead after playing 15 innings on Tuesday night. Fowler should hit on the field Thursday for the first time since going on the disabled list June 27.

"I'm feeling a lot better," he said. "I've been anxious since the first day."

Fowler, like fellow injured outfielder George Springer, would likely need at least three games in the Minor Leagues before being activated -- one at designated hitter and two in the field.

Astros manager Bo Porter said injured outfielder Alex Presley, who's been out for a month with an oblique strain, is also getting close to a rehab stint.

"It will be good to get those guys back," he said.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
Read More: Houston Astros, Dexter Fowler, Alex Presley