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07/18/08 9:02 PM ET

Iguchi giving shoulder time to heal

Second baseman throws long toss, fields grounders Friday

ST. LOUIS -- His shoulder feels fine and, really, has for quite a while. But for as much as Padres second baseman Tadahito Iguchi wants to discard caution and get back in the lineup, he knows better.

Iguchi missed his 35th consecutive game on Friday in St. Louis as he continues to work his way back from a separated right shoulder that he suffered on June 5, when he fell while running the bases in a game at PETCO Park.

Iguchi, who is traveling with the team on its 11-game road trip to St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, has been cleared for some, but not all, baseball activities. He was playing long toss Friday with interpreter David Yamamoto as well as taking ground balls.

San Diego manager Bud Black said Iguchi still isn't able to take batting practice, and he won't likely go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment until the team returns to PETCO Park on July 28.

Until then, Iguchi will try to balance his competitive desire to get back in the lineup with doing what's best for his shoulder.

"It's a personal battle for me to kind of hold my feelings and take the right steps," Iguchi said. "Obviously, I want to get back on the field and contribute. But at the same time, it would not mean anything if I came back right away and had the same injury and would not be able to perform."

Iguchi -- who was hitting .259 with two home runs and 20 RBIs before the injury -- said that only in the past three days has he been able to hit off a tee and play long toss.

"I think I've been out for a while, so I'm taking precautionary steps to make sure I get back to 100 percent," Iguchi said.

The Padres have gotten good production at second base during Iguchi's absence from Edgar Gonzalez, who was hitting .301 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 166 at-bats entering Friday since being recalled from Triple-A Portland on May 12.

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