Starting rehab, Blanks could return soon

Starting rehab, Blanks could return soon

Starting rehab, Blanks could return soon

SAN DIEGO -- Kyle Blanks' timeline to return to the Padres has taken shape, as Blanks is set to begin a Minor League rehab assignment this weekend. Blanks will travel to Class A Lake Elsinore or Triple-A Tucson to test the injury.

Out since July 12 with a left Achilles tendon injury, Blanks was able to run Friday, and he took batting practice prior to the Padres' matchup against the Chicago Cubs. How his heel responds to game action will determine how quickly Blanks is able to return to the big league club. With rosters expanding Sept. 1, Blanks could rejoin the team at that time, manager Bud Black said.

"Whether he comes back Sept. 1 if he has his legs underneath him and he's playing well and feels good physically, there's a chance that when we expand we bring him up," Black said. "Or, we just wait until the end of Minor League season and get him up here. We want him to get as many at-bats as possible."

Blanks had earned regular playing time in the outfield and at first base prior to the injury, hitting eight home runs with 34 RBIs in 67 games.

Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.