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Bour easing back into swing of things

Marlins first baseman fielded grounders, hit off tee; eyes September return
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- If the Marlins can stay in the playoff race until the end, chances are they will add a major impact bat down the stretch.

First baseman Justin Bour, aka "Papito" for Players Weekend, fielded grounders Friday and took some swings off the tee, marking an encouraging sign in his recovery from a right oblique strain that landed him on the disabled list July 25.

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MIAMI -- If the Marlins can stay in the playoff race until the end, chances are they will add a major impact bat down the stretch.

First baseman Justin Bour, aka "Papito" for Players Weekend, fielded grounders Friday and took some swings off the tee, marking an encouraging sign in his recovery from a right oblique strain that landed him on the disabled list July 25.

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"I'm feeling great," Bour said. "I'm starting to make the progression back onto playing baseball. Obviously, we took some time off, so right now is about building up the strength in the legs, taking swings, and all that good stuff."

The left-handed hitting slugger was batting .289 with 21 home runs and 63 RBIs when he went on the DL. Getting in game shape will take a while, and he remains weeks away from returning.

On Friday, Bour took about 20 swings off the tee and added some swings on soft tosses.

"Keep progressing," Bour said. "Moving forward. Just going to stay on that path."

Bour has been doing some light baseball activities for a few days, and said he is hopeful to play at some point in September.

"It's a matter of building that strength up," the first baseman said. "When you take that significant amount of time off, you just have to build that strength up before you get back out there."

The way he felt and was moving Friday gave reason for optimism he could return in a few weeks.

"I have every reason to believe I should be back," Bour said. "As long as I don't have any setbacks or things like that. The progression I'm making right now … I feel I'm going to be back on the field.

"I want to get back as soon as I can, but I understand, I've got to be smart about it. You can't do anything stupid because I want to be back out there helping them. They're doing what they need to do to take care of business."

Worth noting:

Wei-Yin Chen, on the disabled list since May with a left elbow injury, threw 12 pitches Friday as he started his rehab assignment for the Gulf Coast League Marlins. Chen is expected to pitch in some capacity, starter or reliever, in September.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Justin Bour