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08/30/09 12:35 PM ET

Reds' Bruce starts swinging in rehab

Right fielder cautious about rushing return from wrist injury

CINCINNATI -- Jay Bruce had a smile on his face and lots of enthusiasm on Sunday morning. The injured Reds right fielder has turned a corner on his rehab.

"I hit soft tosses with my bat," Bruce said. "If everything feels good [Monday], I will hit off of a pitching machine and then BP. We'll see how it all progresses and go from there. It's coming along great though."

Team medical director Tim Kremchek gave Bruce the green light to start swinging after an exam on Friday.

Bruce has been on the disabled list since he fractured his right wrist on July 11 vs. the Mets attempting to make a sliding catch.

To this point, Bruce has been pain-free but planned to be careful to prevent any setbacks. Obviously, the biggest question remaining is when he can return. Also in question is whether he will be able to go out on a Minor League rehab assignment before Triple-A Louisville's regular season ends Sept. 7. The Bats will also participate in the playoffs, which could offer some playing time.

"Obviously, you have to take it easy, know your body and what you can tolerate and what you can't," said Bruce, who is batting .207 with 18 home runs and 41 RBIs. "I'm not going to push it. I just want to come back and get ready. When I'm ready, I will play again. We'll wait and see. I don't want to set a date."

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