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Hart takes BP, may return this weekend

Brewers 1B Corey Hart might be able to do some pinch hitting this weekend.

MILWAUKEE — Corey Hart is clearly eager to get back in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup sooner rather than later, given the team's newfound wild-card contention. And with a rupture in his plantar fascia in the arch of his left foot, Hart said he saw "a big improvement" since Wednesday.

 

On Friday afternoon, the Brewers first baseman took early batting practice and ran on a treadmill, among other things, while using a personal orthotics on his left foot to help give more support. It was a clear improvement from his status just days earlier.

 

That improvement wasn't enough to get him in the Brewers lineup Friday night for the start of a big series against the New York Mets, but it could be enough to see him work as a pinch hitter off the bench in the next two games of the weekend series, according to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

 

"Let's hope tomorrow maybe he can help us somehow," Roenicke said. "I don't know if he'll be starting. If we can get him by the road trip, I think that'd be great. (Athletic trainer) Dan (Wright) was pretty optimistic with what he did today, so we'll see."

 

The road trip Roenicke is referring to begins Tuesday after a scheduled off day on Monday, and it appears Tuesday is the likely goal for Hart to return to the lineup — just in time for a huge series against the Pirates, who are also in NL wild-card contention.

 

And the Brewers definitely need Hart, one of their top hitters this season, back in the lineup as soon as possible. Although the team's offense has been impressive without him, Hart is still second on the team in home runs (27) and has 77 RBI — a bat that could make a big difference in the key games coming up.

 

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