© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

07/25/08 10:13 PM ET

Injured D-backs showing progress

Team being cautious with Upton; Cruz begins rehab stint

SAN FRANCISCO -- Given that each of his press briefings of late have included a lengthy list of medical updates, D-backs manager Bob Melvin probably deserves an honorary medical degree.

According to Dr. Melvin, here's what's going on with the injured D-backs:

Justin Upton: The outfielder, who has a strained left oblique, has done tee work and taken some soft toss, but has yet to take batting practice. Upton could take batting practice while the team is in San Diego next week, which would put him on track to start a rehab assignment before the end of the road trip.

If he doesn't start taking batting practice until the end of the trip in Los Angeles, then he likely would not be ready to start a rehab assignment until after the team returns home. Regardless, the team is taking a cautious approach with the 20-year-old.

"If that thing goes again, then you're looking at a couple of months, probably," Melvin said.

Juan Cruz: The reliever, who also has a strained left oblique, is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance Friday night. He will then take a day or two off before throwing again. He could rejoin the team towards the end of the San Diego series or when the team gets to Los Angeles.

"Probably two outings, but just how soon he's back I'm not sure," Melvin said. "A lot of it will be based on how he feels after today's game."

Doug Slaten: The left-handed specialist, who has a right knee strain, could throw a bullpen in San Diego, which would put him on track to start a rehab assignment not long thereafter.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.