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Braun running again; close to rehab assignment

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Ryan Braun has had two recent stints on the disabled list due to a left calf strain and has played only five games since May 2. But this weekend at Chase Field, Braun has been back on the field running and taking part in baseball activities.

He said that he's pain-free now and seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel." A rehab stint in the Minors appears to be in the plans, however, before he returns to the Milwaukee lineup.

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PHOENIX -- Ryan Braun has had two recent stints on the disabled list due to a left calf strain and has played only five games since May 2. But this weekend at Chase Field, Braun has been back on the field running and taking part in baseball activities.

He said that he's pain-free now and seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel." A rehab stint in the Minors appears to be in the plans, however, before he returns to the Milwaukee lineup.

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"It's continuing to head in the right direction," the All-Star outfielder told MLB.com. "[Friday] was the first day I've jogged on the field at all, at probably about 50 percent effort. [Saturday] we got to about 75-80 percent effort. Ran the bases, and obviously the progression is to get to 100 percent and run at different angles, run backward and get used to everything I have to do in the outfield. So, [I'm] progressing."

That's good news for the Brewers, who remain in first place in the National League Central over the defending World Series-champion Cubs even without Braun in the lineup.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he couldn't project the date of Braun beginning his rehab stint at this point.

Video: ARI@MIL: Braun replaced due to calf tightness

"We're not there yet," Counsell said prior to the Brewers' series finale at Chase Field. "I can't give you a date yet. That's the way it's going. There are no plans. He's just working out on the field, and when he's ready to go for rehab, we'll send him out."

Braun has dealt with various injuries in recent seasons, and though he came to Spring Training healthy, Braun didn't take his first live swings until March 10 in an attempt to avoid injury.

But not long after the season began, the injury bug bit him again, and he has appeared in 30 of the club's first 60 games. His .262/.350/.524 slash line, with seven homers, 14 RBIs and and .875 OPS are something to build upon when he comes back. Braun, however, said he's not contemplating his return just yet.

"I'm trying not to look too far ahead, trying to stay present, trying to be in the moment," he said. "[I'm] trying to get the most out of each day, really try to get this thing as close as I can to 100 percent before we do that. But we're getting close."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun