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06/14/08 7:55 PM ET

Barmes close to rehab stint

Infielder feels right knee is able to stand up to game play

CHICAGO -- Rockies infielder Clint Barmes was happy to be in good enough shape to make it through a grueling session of running, changing directions and making athletic moves that head trainer Keith Dugger had fashioned for him on Saturday afternoon.

The key was, Barmes was more concerned about his ability to puff his way through it than the state of his right knee, which has kept him on the disabled list since May 24 because of a sprain. Planting and cutting gave him no problems. As a result, Barmes said signs are pointing toward him joining Triple-A Colorado Springs for a rehab assignment starting Tuesday.

Barmes said he's been told that he's likely to play five innings, seven innings, then two games of nine innings for the Sky Sox before being considered for reinstatement to the active roster.

In other moves, the Rockies took right-hander Jason Hirsh off an injury rehab assignment and optioned him to Colorado Springs. A rehab assignment is capped at 30 days for a pitcher. The Rockies felt that Hirsh, who was shut down after his first Spring Training outing because of a strain deep in his right rotator cuff, needed more time because his injury occurred so early.

When the Rockies activated Hirsh from the 60-day DL, they had to clear a spot for him on the 40-man roster. They did so by outrighting outfielder Cory Sullivan off the roster. No other team claimed him, so Sullivan continues with Colorado Springs on a Minor League contract.

Also, left-hander Glendon Rusch is expected to move into the Rockies' rotation on Thursday against the Indians. Rusch was set to start for Colorado Springs on Saturday at Tucson, so he will be on normal rest.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.