MILWAUKEE -- Padres outfielder Will Venable's gradual return from a tight right oblique continued Friday in Milwaukee. After hitting off a tee early in the day, Venable, who hasn't played since he injured the muscle in his first at-bat Sunday against Arizona, went through his regular routine at Miller Park. "I'm going to treat the rest of the day like a normal day," he said. "Take batting practice, run around and shag and throw."
The 29-year-old said he felt good after his work with the batting tee and was "encouraged by my process." Still, the pain isn't completely gone. "But I can do everything," he said. "I just got to see how far I can go without putting myself at risk for doing something worse to it. That's really the only issue right now. It's not about tolerating the pain or not being able to do any movements. It's about making sure that I don't go out there and hurt myself more seriously." Before the injury, Venable was batting .268 with 12 RBIs and four home runs, including a .307 average and three homers in his last 23 games. His .451 slugging percentage also led San Diego. Although he said he feels ready to go, Venable didn't know when he might be back in the lineup. He said that's up to the coaches and training staff. Manager Bud Black also wasn't sure on an exact return, but he said Venable is "getting closer." "We want him back in there," Black said. "But we're going to make sure the side is ready to go. He's starting to pass some tests that gets him closer to action."