Joey Votto: “I’m not ready to play yet”

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Joey Votto is three weeks into what was initially a 3-4 week recovery timetable for knee surgery, but told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that his return isn’t imminent:

I’m not ready to play yet. I’m moving in the right direction. I’m definitely not sure on a timetable. I’m not doing that to be coy, it’s because I genuinely don’t know which day. I’m making progress.

Votto is close enough to returning that the former MVP has been practicing his sliding, although manager Dusty Baker revealed to Brian Hedger of MLB.com that Votto “was a little sore after sliding and trying to get that muscle memory back.”

Of course, Baker also noted that Votto “needed a little work on his sliding before he hurt it.”

(Zing!)

Cincinnati won 16 of 19 games after placing Votto on the disabled list in mid-July, but the Reds have now lost five straight games to shrink their lead in the NL Central down to 2.5 games over the Pirates.