Smith could return soon; Headley doing well

Smith could return soon; Headley doing well

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Diego's slumping offense could be receiving some help from Seth Smith this series.

The Padres outfielder exited Thursday's contest against the Nationals with a right groin strain but took batting practice with his teammates and did some jogging before the series opener in San Francisco on Monday. Manager Bud Black said he would evaluate Smith's status closer to Monday's first pitch, while noting it's possible Smith will return in San Francisco.

In his first 21 games with San Diego, Smith is batting .277/.385/.431 with two home runs and seven RBIs. He's just one of a few key offensive contributors rehabbing, as Chase Headley (right calf strain) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. Black said Headley took swings in soft-toss and off a tee before Monday's contest against the Giants.

"He's doing well, which is very encouraging," Black said.

Jedd Gyorko (paternity list) and recovering outfielder Carlos Quentin (left knee bone bruise) were also unavailable for Black to start the three-game series.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.