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07/10/08 2:42 PM ET

Wells to return to rotation in second half

Veteran will make two more Minor League rehab starts

MILWAUKEE -- Injured Rockies starter Kip Wells will make two more rehab starts and then will likely be slotted into the Rockies starting rotation for the second half of the season, according to manager Clint Hurdle.

Wells will make his next rehab start on Friday with Triple-A Colorado Springs, and then one more on Wednesday with Double-A Tulsa.

"We'll have him throw again on Wednesday to see where he is physically," Hurdle said. "We're leaning toward penciling him into the rotation in the second half."

Wells, the Rockies' Opening Day starter in St. Louis, has been out since late April because of a blood clot in his right hand that required surgery. He underwent a successful surgery to remove the clot on May 6.

The righty was 1-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 games with the Rockies this season before the injury. Since his debut with the White Sox in 1999, Wells is 65-92 with a 4.59 ERA.

The 31-year-old veteran will likely replace one of the lefties in the Colorado rotation for the team's stretch run, according to Hurdle. He also said that he had no new information on when starting pitcher Jeff Francis will be available.

Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.