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Lucroy headed to rehab games Thursday

Brewers catcher could be activated as soon as St. Louis opener

MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday brought further clarity on the plan for Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment Thursday at Class A Advanced Brevard County before rejoining the big league club as soon as Monday in St. Louis.

"I'm excited. Being on the DL is terrible," said Lucroy, who has been on the disabled list since suffering a fractured left big toe April 20. "It is nice to be able to get back on the field and get back to doing my job."

On Tuesday, Lucroy took batting practice with the team and ran the bases with no issue. He has been catching for some time in the Brewers' bullpen.

The Florida State League was an attractive destination for his rehab assignment because Lucroy can serve as the designated hitter for at least one game while easing back into catching duty.

"They don't want me to burn out the first day," he said. "Since I've been catching for a while, I think the at-bats are more important than getting nine innings behind the plate.

"I've been catching in the bullpen. I can simulate game speed there. I did some blocking in the cage on the machine today. I did throwing on the field. I ran bases and I hit early. Catching, you can pretty much [simulate] everything live. Hitting is different."

Is four days enough to get back to game speed at the plate?

"Four days, it's a minimum 15-20 plate appearances," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's a pretty good chunk, I think. I think that's a significant rehab, quite honestly."

As a bonus, Lucroy will have family in the stands for part of his stint with Brevard County. His parents will be in nearby Coral Gables to watch Lucroy's younger brother, David, pitch for East Carolina University in the NCAA baseball regionals there.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
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