Prado encouraged after running session

Prado encouraged after running session

ATLANTA -- After running the stairs at Turner Field on Monday afternoon, an excited Martin Prado expressed that he believes he is ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment. But still waiting to receive full medical clearance, the Braves might wait until at least Wednesday to allow Prado to begin playing games again.

Sidelined since he was diagnosed with a staph infection on June 9, Prado remains hopeful that he could return for this weekend's series against the Phillies. At the same time, the Braves' left fielder believes he might need 30 at-bats before he is ready to begin facing Major League competition again.

This provides a glimpse of the uncertainty surrounding the potential day Prado could return to the lineup. But the Braves can at least be encouraged that he has made steady strides since he was cleared to begin swinging a bat and performing baseball activities again last week.

"I'm just trying to get my strength back," Prado said. "When I'm running, I've been getting tired. But today it was way better. It was a piece of cake."

If Prado isn't activated before Sunday, he could spend a portion of next week's All-Star break playing with Double-A Mississippi or another of the organization's Minor League affiliates.