Colorado Rockies injury news: DJ LeMahieu likely to return Thursday

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 8: Second baseman DJ LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies turns a double play after forcing Denard Span #4 of the Seattle Mariners at first base on a ball hit Ryon Healy #27 of the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning of a game at Safeco Field on July 8, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 8: Second baseman DJ LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies turns a double play after forcing Denard Span #4 of the Seattle Mariners at first base on a ball hit Ryon Healy #27 of the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning of a game at Safeco Field on July 8, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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It appears that the Colorado Rockies will have DJ LeMahieu back on the field before a key weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee.

According to Nick Groke of The Athletic, the Colorado Rockies All-Star second baseman took batting practice against Rockies reliever Chris Rusin before Wednesday night’s road matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals. Hitting was reportedly the last hurdle that LeMahieu had to overcome before he likely returns to the lineup on Thursday in St. Louis.

As we previously reported, LeMaheiu has been working his way back from an oblique injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list. It is the third trip to the disabled list for the 30-year-old LeMahieu this season after avoiding the disabled list in his previous seven big league campaigns.

LeMahieu is hitting .278 with eight homers and 34 RBI this season, settling into the leadoff spot for the Rockies. Playing in just 13 games in July, LeMahieu posted his best batting average month of the regular season, hitting .291. LeMaheiu had his best month in home runs (5) in April and RBI (17) in June.

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When LeMahieu landed on the disabled list, Garrett Hampson was called up to take his spot on the roster and at second base. However, Pat Valaika and Ryan McMahon have also seen time at the position. McMahon, another recent call-up, has started the last three games at second base, including Wednesday night’s tilt.

With LeMahieu returning, it is likely he will return to the top spot in the order, shifting Charlie Blackmon back into the second spot. Additionally, the Rockies will need to make a roster move to accommodate his return, meaning a likely return to Albuquerque for McMahon or Hampson.

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Hampson has shown well in his inaugural Major League experience, hitting .300 in 20 at-bats heading into Wednesday night. That is a good sign for a Rockies team that will need to decide at season’s end in LeMahieu is re-signed or the future at second base is turned over to Hampson, McMahon or another prospect, Brendan Rodgers.

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