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Dahl has stress reaction in rib, return date uncertain

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder David Dahl has a stress reaction in his sixth rib and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the club announced Monday.

It isn't clear whether Dahl will return to Cactus League play before the regular season begins, as he likely will need additional rehab time after the re-evaluation.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder David Dahl has a stress reaction in his sixth rib and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the club announced Monday.

It isn't clear whether Dahl will return to Cactus League play before the regular season begins, as he likely will need additional rehab time after the re-evaluation.

"It's better that it's a rib, for sure, but it's frustrating," Dahl said. "I worked hard, and it's a big Spring Training for me. For that to happen is unfortunate. But it's happened, so I've got to prepare and get ready to come back."

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Dahl said he can keep his legs in shape, but rest is important. As for returning this spring, he said, "I'm hopeful. I want to play. But at the same time I've got to be cautious with it, and make sure it's fully healthy."

Dahl added he doesn't know when or how the injury occurred, but the nagging pain worsened when he took "a weird swing" during one of his at-bats.

Video: Dahl is out indefinitely with a back injury

Dahl, who turns 24 on April 1, hit .315 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 63 games as a rookie last season. He has had just four at-bats this spring because of pain in his upper back. Monday's diagnosis came after multiple tests.

A stress reaction can lead to a stress fracture if not managed properly, and the difference between the two is the degree of bone metabolism disruption, according to a general explanation from Princeton University Athletic Medicine.

Dahl and Gerardo Parra, who struggled through a left ankle injury and hit .253 last year to begin a three-year, $27.5 million contract, entered camp competing for starts in left field. The outfield is considered an area of depth, so the Rockies can afford to be cautious with Dahl.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, David Dahl