BETTIS ON PACE TO BE­GIN RE­HAB WORK JULY 10

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Patrick Saun­ders, The Den­ver Post

PHOENIX» Tes­tic­u­lar can­cer, and the sub­se­quent chemo­ther­apy treat­ments that fol­lowed, could not stop Chad Bettis‘ base­ball dreams.

The Rock­ies’ right-handed starter is mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant progress in his come­back and is on pace to be­gin mak­ing mi­nor-league re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion starts dur­ing the all-star break, be­gin­ning July 10.

Bettis had said his goal was to be back in the Rock­ies’ ro­ta­tion be­fore the break. He didn’t quite meet that goal, but it now ap­pears that he’ll be avail­able to help the Rock­ies in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

“It’s a re­ally good feel­ing to watch this un­fold,” Rock­ies man­ager Bud Black said Sun­day. “It’s been in stages over the last cou­ple of months. Now, to see him progress through his side ses­sions, and all the work with the strengt­hand-con­di­tion­ing coaches, and see him clear all of these hur­dled, it’s just re­ally, re­ally cool.”

Bettis threw an­other bullpen ses­sion Satur­day, and he’s now ready to ramp up his work. Ac­cord­ing to Black, Bettis is sched­uled to throw live bat­ting prac­tice when the Rock­ies re­turn to Den­ver this week af­ter their nine-game road trip. If that goes well, Bettis would go out on a re­hab as­sign­ment.

Bettis un­der­went surgery Nov. 29 to re­move the can­cer­ous cells, and doc­tors told him Dec. 22 the surgery was a suc­cess. At the time, Bettis avoided the need for ra­di­a­tion or chemo­ther­apy, and he re­sumed a near-reg­u­lar off­sea­son throw­ing pro­gram.

But dur­ing spring train­ing, a checkup re­vealed that the can­cer had spread and that Bettis would need treat­ment. He left camp March 20.

But, Bettis added, his prog­no­sis for a com­plete re­cov­ery was good, in the 90 per­cent range.

Bettis, 28, led the Rock­ies in in­nings pitched last year with 186, and had a 14-8 record with a 4.79 ERA. In the sec­ond half of the sea­son, he went 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA over 14 starts. If he re­turns this sea­son, he would be the old­est mem­ber of a very young ro­ta­tion that started the sea­son strong but has scuf­fled over the last two weeks.

Bettis re­joined the Rock­ies on June 6 and has been work­ing out and trav­el­ing with the team since.

In­jury up­dates.

Right fielder Car­los Gonzalez, out with a right shoul­der strain, ex­pects to come off the dis­abled list Mon­day when the Rock­ies re­turn home to host Cincin­nati.

Out­fielder Ger­ardo Parra is ex­pected to un­dergo an MRI on Mon­day to see how his injured right quadri­ceps is heal­ing. He suf­fered the in­jury June 6.

The Rock­ies have missed his of­fense. He was hit­ting .318 with six homers and 28 RBIs through 49 games be­fore he was injured try­ing to steal sec­ond base.

If all goes well, Parra could be­gin a mi­nor-league re­hab as­sign­ment at Triple-A Al­bu­querque this week and could re­join the Rock­ies on Fri­day.

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