MLB San Diego Padres

Injured Chase Headley Closer to Returning to San Diego Padres

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

When Chase Headley connected with the ball for the first time yesterday, he crushed it, sending his hit flying over the left-field fence of Petco Park over the 357-foot sign.

Now, Headley’s comeback came in the form of batting practice, but any progress is welcome for the San Diego Padres third baseman, who has been stuck on the sidelines since suffering an injury in Mid-March. Headley fractured the tip of his left thumb while sliding into second base during a Spring Training game back in Arizona, and has been unable to play this season while the thumb heals. It appears that Headley’s thumb is healing according to plan, giving him the okay for batting practice.

The switch-hitter was able to practice from both sides of the plate before the Padres’ game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Headley reported that his swing felt good. While the initial diagnosis was that he would miss between four and six weeks of the season to completely heal, this new information has team officials reporting that Headley could be shipping off to Minor League rehabilitation, even as soon as this weekend.

That rehabilitation stint would last between four and seven games, and after that, Headley could very well be back in Petco Park with the Padres in about five weeks if all goes well. Headley’s progress all depends on what he can manage with the pain he experiences in his thumb. But if yesterday’s batting practice is any indication, he is on the fast track to making a triumphant return.

Just look at what he did last season. Headley led the National League with 115 RBI and won both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards. He also brought in 31 home runs for the Padres in the 2012 season. His return can only mean good things for the Padres, so here’s to a speedy recovery.

Samantha Wilson is a San Diego Padres writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.