Colorado Rockies injury update: Daniel Murphy nearing return?

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 11: Daniel Murphy #9 of the Colorado Rockies singles against the Oakland Athletics during the spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 11, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 11: Daniel Murphy #9 of the Colorado Rockies singles against the Oakland Athletics during the spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 11, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies started the season with a rash of injuries. Perhaps none made more of an impact than the one to Daniel Murphy, Colorado’s biggest offseason signing.

Just two games into the season, the Colorado Rockies lost Daniel Murphy to an avulsion fracture of the left index finger. He was placed on the injured list on April 1 with just 10 at-bats on the season, leaving a hole in a Colorado lineup that has struggled to a .215 batting average through the first 20 games.

However, there have been signs of encouragement as of late in regards to Murphy’s nearing return. He has been taking batting and fielding practice at Coors Field as the Rockies opened a seven-game homestand on Thursday. Late Friday night, after Colorado’s extra-inning win against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thomas Harding of MLB.com tweeted that Murphy had his bags packed and was heading to Triple-A Albuquerque for an injury rehab assignment.

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Murphy holds a career .299/.344/.458 batting average and was signed to a two-year, $24 million deal in December. His deal made him Colorado’s primary first baseman, shifting Ian Desmond to center field and setting up a spring training battle between Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon for the starting second base slot. Both players eventually made the Opening Day roster, in part because of their ability to play multiple positions.

McMahon and Mark Reynolds have filled in at first base in Murphy’s absence. McMahon also just returned from the injured list (along with David Dahl) on Thursday night, giving the Rockies two big left-handed bats in the lineup. Murphy, upon his return, will add another strong left-handed bat to Colorado’s offense.

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More information on Murphy’s return will likely be given by Colorado manager Bud Black during today’s pregame media conference. We will be at Coors Field and will update the article below with the latest information.

UPDATE: Black told media members, including Rox Pile, on Saturday afternoon that the doctors feel he is ready for a rehab assignment. Black said that all of the scans taken over the last week to 10 days show there is healing to where the doctors believe, medically, that Murphy can play and heal at the same time.

He also said there is no timetable for Murphy’s return. Murphy is starting at first base for Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday night.

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