The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

PHOENIX» If pa­tience is a virtue, than David Dahl is a saint.

The Rock­ies’ tal­ented, young out­fielder has been out since the sec­ond Cac­tus League game of spring train­ing with stress re­ac­tion of the sixth rib. He has come close to re­turn­ing a num­ber of times, only to have the in­jury flare back up.

Now, fi­nally, Dahl is mak­ing steady progress, though there is no spe­cific timetable for his re­turn.

He be­gan hit­ting off a tee Thurs­day and he’s feel­ing no dis­com­fort in the spot where the rib wraps around his back. He has stayed in shape while get­ting treat­ment at the Rock­ies’ fa­cil­ity in nearby Scotts­dale, Ariz.

“I haven’t felt any pain in a month,” he said. “That’s re­ally en­cour­ag­ing. I feel like my time is com­ing. I feel good and I’ve been do­ing a lot of ro­ta­tional work. Hope­fully this con­tin­ues to go well.”

Dahl, 23, never thought the in­jury would take this long to heal.

“I found out that when you have a stress (re­ac­tion) it can take a while,” he said. “You have to be pa­tient, even though it’s tough. That’s the only way.”

In 2015, while play­ing in Dou­ble-A, Dahl suf­fered a vi­o­lent out­field col­li­sion that re­sulted in a rup­tured spleen. He un­der­went surgery to have his spleen re­moved and played in only 73 games that sea­son.

“I tell my­self that I’m get­ting all of my in­juries out of the way now, when I’m younger,” Dahl said. “I mean, it stinks but you have to deal with it.”

Dahl hit .315 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 63 games as a rookie last sea­son and went into spring train­ing to com­pete with Ger­ardo Parra for the start­ing job in left field. Parra is cur­rently on the dis­abled list with a strained right quadri­ceps.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult not be­ing with the team,” Dahl said. “But I watch ev­ery game and I cheer them on. It’s been tough, but I’ve got­ten through it and I’m ready to take those next steps.”

Man­ager Bud Black said Satur­day that in­jured sec­ond base­man DJ LeMahieu is “closer than you think” in re­turn­ing to the start­ing lineup. That means LeMahieu is likely to be back in the start­ing lineup Sun­day.

LeMahieu strained his right groin dur­ing Tues­day night’s game at San Fran­cisco. The Rock­ies never thought he would have to go on the dis­abled list.

Left-handed starter Tyler An­der­son, out with a left knee in­jury, will un­dergo arthro­scopic surgery Mon­day in Den­ver. The Rock­ies had pre­vi­ously said that An­der­son would have the pro­ce­dure Fri­day.

Out­fielder Car­los Gon­za­lez (strained right shoul­der) is sched­uled to come off the DL on Mon­day. He doesn’t ex­pect to have to play in any mi­nor-league re­hab games. … Black turned 60 years old Fri­day and cen­ter fielder Char­lie Black­mon cel­e­brated his 31st birthday Satur­day.

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