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Headley's thumb healing; he takes grounders

Headley's thumb healing; he takes grounders play video for Headley's thumb healing; he takes grounders

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres were off on Monday, though there was still good news to be had regarding the injured left thumb of third baseman Chase Headley.

Headley, who fractured the tip of the thumb on March 17, had an X-ray and stress tests conducted on the thumb on Monday. The news was good.

"It's healing like it's supposed to," Headley said. "It feels good. [The team doctors] said that I can do as much or little as I want without pain."

Armed with that prognosis, Headley took some ground balls before the Padres faced the Dodgers. He also hit off a tee and played flip in the batting cage.

"The stress test … they pushed it all over," Headley said. "I have a good range of motion."

There's hope internally that Headley, who had a National-League leading 115 RBIs last season, could be able to play in Major League games by the end of the month following a Minor League rehabilitation stint with one of the team's affiliates.

"We are encouraged," said manager Bud Black. "We're really optimistic the four to six week guideline the doctors put on this might actually be closer to four.

"We knew this day was coming but didn't know when. This is a good thing."

The Padres, who used rookie Jedd Gyorko and Cody Ransom at third base in the opening week of the season, would like nothing more to get Headley back in the lineup. The team entered Tuesday's game against the Dodgers ranked 13th (out of 15 teams) in the league in batting average and runs.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["injury" ] }
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