ATLANTA -- It's been exactly two weeks since Padres rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal suffered a strained right oblique muscle while taking a swing in a game in Cincinnati.
On Monday, Grandal took early batting practice and then another round with the team before the Padres faced the Braves at Turner Field in what is being viewed as a precursor to a Minor League rehabilitation assignment later this week.
"We're closing in on it," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Black said that Grandal will take batting practice again on Tuesday and throw to the bases before the game and then will likely advance to a rehab stint with Class A Lake Elsinore, as long as his oblique obliges.
"Hopefully, I'll get a couple of starts in the Minors and then be ready for the Giants series," Grandal said. "But it's still something we don't want to rush."
The Padres, who opened a four-game series on Monday, return home Friday for a three-game series at Petco Park against the Giants. By sending him to Lake Elsinore -- one hour north of San Diego -- Grandal would be close enough to join the team quicker than if he was with another affiliate.
Grandal, a switch-hitter, was hitting left-handed in a game against the Reds on July 30 when he left the game after swinging through a pitch from Reds reliever Alfredo Simon.
Grandal took batting practice in Pittsburgh last week and initially his right-handed swing felt better than his left-handed swing. But now, he said, he's fine from both sides.
"I've made a lot of progress," Grandal said.
At the time of the injury, Grandal was hitting .312 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in his first month in the big leagues.
The Padres currently have two catchers on the roster -- John Baker and Nick Hundley. Hundley got the start Monday against the Braves.