Troy Tulowitzki Continues To Make Progress

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Troy Tulowitzki bobblehead night on Saturday had to take place without the Colorado Rockies' slick-fielding shortstop in the lineup.

That could soon be changing.

Tulowitzki, on the disabled list with a tear in his left quadriceps muscle, could be sent out on a rehab assignment as soon as the middle of next week.

"I'm getting excited. I can't wait to play," Tulowitzki said before the game Saturday with Milwaukee. "Anybody who knows me knows I want to be out there on the field real bad, helping the team win games. I'm excited to get back out on any field."

Tulowitzki injured his quad while charging a grounder during the first inning in a game against San Francisco on April 29. He felt a "tweak" as he tried to make an off-balance throw.

Now, the injury doesn't even bother him as he's fielding.

"Before when I was taking ground balls, it was think about my leg and then field the ground ball," he said. Now it's just reaction - being myself, going and getting the ball and not even thinking about my leg."

Rockies trainer Keith Dugger said the team will assess Tulowitzki's progress again on Monday, before deciding when and where to send him.

"He's doing very good," Dugger said. "The last week he's been taking full ground balls. I'd say over the last four or five days there's no hesitation (in the field). He looks normal."

Dugger said infielder Clint Barmes is taking part in baseball activities such as fielding and batting practice. Barmes has been on the disabled list since May 24 with a sprained right knee.

"He's doing well," Dugger said. "He's increasing his baseball activity. He's still a ways out. What a ways is, I don't know. Every day there's improvement."

Tulowitzki had a chance to examine his bobblehead doll and came away impressed, thinking it bore a strong resemblance to him. The doll is a replica of him making a throw off one leg.

"I like the fact that it's defensive, instead of with the bat," he said.

A defensive doll was definitely appropriate. Tulowitzki led all qualifying shortstops in fielding percentage last season, committing just 11 errors in 834 total chances. He also led the league in putouts (262) and turning double plays (114).

Tulowitzki finished runner-up to Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for the NL rookie of the year award last season.

Colorado rewarded Tulowitzki's sensational rookie season with a new $31 million, six-year deal in the offseason.

However, he got off to a slow start before the injury, hitting just .152 with one homer and 11 RBIs.

Before the game Saturday, Tulowitzki was crushing the ball in the batting cage, drilling pitch after pitch into the left field stands.

He just wishes he could've been in the lineup for his bobblehead night.

"It seems like every time someone has a bobblehead night, they hit a home run or have a good game," Tulowitzki said. "That would be nice."

Tulowitzki hasn't received too much grief from teammates for the doll - yet.

"I think most of them have their own bobblehead coming, too," Tulowitzki said with a laugh.