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Realmuto could return during upcoming road trip

Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- Catcher J.T. Realmuto appears to be close to returning to the big league club, and possibly could join the Marlins on their upcoming nine-game road trip.

Realmuto, who has been on the disabled list because of a bone bruise in his lower back that he sustained on March 11, went 3-for-3 -- including a home run and a double -- in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Jupiter on Saturday. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Sunday that once the club's medical staff gives the thumbs up for Realmuto, he'll return to the Marlins.

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MIAMI -- Catcher J.T. Realmuto appears to be close to returning to the big league club, and possibly could join the Marlins on their upcoming nine-game road trip.

Realmuto, who has been on the disabled list because of a bone bruise in his lower back that he sustained on March 11, went 3-for-3 -- including a home run and a double -- in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Jupiter on Saturday. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Sunday that once the club's medical staff gives the thumbs up for Realmuto, he'll return to the Marlins.

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Mattingly believes Realmuto could join the team on the road trip that begins Monday at the Yankees, but would not commit to exactly what day that might happen.

"It's really a matter of medical [staff] saying this guy's physically ready to catch in the big leagues," Mattingly said. "As soon as they say, 'we think he's ready,' we'll be ready for him. ... We gave him a lot of at-bats in extended [spring training] games, and he's feeling good. Just keep progressing and make sure he's bouncing back."

Prado update: Mattingly said that third baseman Martin Prado (left hamstring strain) also is "progressing," and is scheduled to play in an extended spring training game on Monday.

"We're getting close to him I think getting on a rehab assignment," Mattingly said. "He's been more confident with his body, been running bases in games. Now, it's just a matter of building up, getting his at-bats, getting his timing."

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

Miami Marlins, J.T. Realmuto