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08/13/08 8:50 PM ET

Podsednik nears rehab assignment

Center fielder five to six days away from seeing live action

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Scott Podsednik began hitting off a tee Tuesday and said he expects to begin a rehab assignment in five to six days.

Podsednik, who has been on the disabled list since July 28 with a fractured left pinky finger, said he felt no pain after taking cuts for the first time on Tuesday and felt even better on Wednesday.

"It's feeling good," he said. "The big question was how was it going to respond from swinging [Tuesday], and it felt actually a little better swinging [Wednesday]. If I continue to improve like I have, I should be back onto the field soon."

The Rockies could sure use him. The 32-year-old was in a nice groove at the plate before getting injured. In his past five games, Podsednik was 10-for-17 with five doubles.

Podsednik is also a threat on the basepaths -- he's one of the fastest players on the team and has 10 stolen bases. He said his injury hasn't kept him from staying in shape.

"The good thing is I've been able to continue all my lower body workouts, my running, etc.," he said. "So from a conditioning standpoint, I feel really good."

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