Brewers still hopeful for Lucroy's quick return
JUL 07, 2012 4:41p ET
Milwaukee's standout catcher has been sidelined since late May with a fractured right hand, but it sounds as though Lucroy could return to action by month's end.
"He's got clearance to swing the bat, and do some stuff in the cage," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday, in reference to his 26-year-old backstop.
"I don't know how long (Lucroy's recovery) is going to take. I know he's hopeful that everything will go quick, but you never know," Roenicke added, in a televised interview that aired on FOX Sports Wisconsin.
Lucroy, who had been hitting a robust .345 through 43 games before his injury, sustained a boxer's fracture when a suitcase fell on his hand in late May. He had a cast removed from the hand June 20, and he appears to be making strides in his bid to return and help Milwaukee mount a late-season charge.
Roenicke, however, indicated the Brewers won't attempt to rush Lucroy's recovery process.
"He's got to build back the strength," the manager said. "He's got to get his throwing back. And he'll catch enough bullpen (sessions) -- and already has been -- that I think his legs will be in shape, and that area will be fine.
"You know, if he goes out on a (minor league) rehab (assignment) and he just can't find his swing in five days, we're not going to just say 'You're coming back.' He needs to find his game, first."
Lucroy had 30 RBI at the time of his injury, and his return could be key for Milwaukee in its quest to return to the postseason.
Fortunately for the Brewers, their catching spot is currently in the rather capable hands of Martin Maldonado (hitting .265 entering Saturday's game) and George Kottaras (.231). Lucroy's clutch hitting is missed right now, but the Brewers believe they can survive long enough to let him return to a full bill of health.
Roenicke and company hope, however, that Lucroy's injury was simply a detour during a breakout season.