Gibby 'optimistic' Drew will return soon

Gibby 'optimistic' Drew will return soon

Gibby 'optimistic' Drew will return soon
ANAHEIM -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson wore a smile on Sunday morning when he talked about injured shortstop Stephen Drew.

"I'm optimistic that he's getting closer," Gibson said.

Drew was injured while sliding into home plate on July 20. He suffered a spiral fracture of his right ankle and damage to three ligaments. The rehab process has been an arduous one, and Drew recently received criticism from Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick, who suggested Drew was more focused on offseason free agency than playing this year.

On Saturday, though, Drew played in his third consecutive full games for Triple-A Reno, the first time he has played in three straight games since the injury.

"I don't think it was easy for him; I really don't," Gibson said. "I think it was really tough. I think he pushed through it. That's my sense."

Gibson spoke with Reno manager Brett Butler and has read the reports on Drew.

"He's just making really good plays in the hole, up the middle, just looks like Stephen," Gibson said.

There is still no timetable for Drew's return.

"I want to have a nice long talk with him and see what he's feeling," Gibson said.