Lucroy closing in on rehab assignment

MILWAUKEE — After breaking his hand in a freak suitcase accident May 27, it appears Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is inching closer to a return to the team’s lineup.

Lucroy threw to second base from home plate on Friday and had been hitting off of a tee since Monday. He said he plans on taking live batting practice Saturday.

“It’s getting pretty close,” Lucroy said. “It feels great.”

The Brewers catcher had been in the midst of a breakout season and was hitting .345 with five home runs and 30 RBI when he broke his hand. He said he hopes to start a rehab assignment as soon as July 20.

That may be a bit ambitious for Lucroy, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke did mention that his recovery and rehab had been going very well.

“I know that’s what he’s hoping,” Roenicke said of Lucroy’s prediction. “He’s coming along pretty fast.”

But with two capable catchers on the roster without Lucroy, Roenicke and the rest of the Brewers organization are determined to be careful in handling his return.

“There’s no reason to bring him back too soon and baby him through,” Roenicke said. “… When he comes back he needs to be a contributor.”

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