SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Carlos Quentin was back at Petco Park on Monday, though it wasn't to suit up for the Padres or to be reinstated from the disabled list.
But from the sound of it, that day might not be too far off.
"I think we're a lot closer," he said. "I'm not counting out the road trip."
The Padres, who opened a three-game series on Monday against the Rockies, have a travel day on Thursday before opening a five-game road trip on Friday in Philadelphia. But will Quentin be on the team charter when Thursday rolls around?
"When he's ready, he's ready," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Quentin, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 19, has played in five Minor League games for Triple-A Tucson in his rehabilitation assignment. He's hitting .286 in 14 at-bats, and estimates that he has played "10, 11 innings" in the outfield while serving as the designated hitter on occasion.
"He's progressing," Black said. "He's excited to get back."
Quentin will join Class A Lake Elsinore on Tuesday and play in games for the Padres' California League affiliate on Wednesday, as well. The team will then re-evaluate him before deciding the next move.
Quentin said he's dealing with soreness on a daily basis, though not as much as before. He's not worried about his swing, saying that it "will come."
"I'm now pushing through any soreness," Quentin said.
At some point, Quentin said on Monday, he'll be able to talk about something other than his knee with reporters. He sounded like he's looking forward to that.
"It's always difficult to watch when you can't be on the field," Quentin said. "I want to be on the field. ... This is my profession."