PHOENIX -- When he injured his back at the end of July, D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist figured he would only be sidelined a short time for rest and rehab. Now more than a month later, the 34-year-old has only taken 10 at-bats in the months of August and September and is still battling on a daily basis to get healthy. With 18 games remaining in the regular season and the uncertainty of the injury, the club is contemplating if Bloomquist will return at all in 2012.
"We're just going to progress and keep doing his core exercises and his back stabilization [drills]," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "There's really no timetable, but we're not going to shut him down at this point. He's still doing activities. If he gets to the point where he has a couple good days in a row and wants to progress to more intense baseball stuff, we'll do that. But he may not." Bloomquist had a pinch-hit at-bat Sept. 3 against the Giants, but hasn't appeared since. The loss of the veteran has been hard on the D-backs. Bloomquist is batting .302, a career-best for the 10-year pro. "It has hurt us; he's the spark plug to our team," Gibson said. "There's no question it's been a big blow, but it's been part of it." While back problems have derailed Bloomquist in the second half, the D-backs don't think it will be a problem moving forward into next season. "We don't think there is," Gibson said. "He is just older and he pushes hard." While the club is unsure whether the shortstop will return this season, the D-backs appear close to getting outfielder Chris Young back from a right quad strain. "C.Y. ran really good. I thought about playing him tonight, but I talked to the trainers," Gibson said. "He was on the bases with the spikes on and he got a little fatigued, which he's not used to. The smart thing to do is wait and see. The earliest he'll be back is after the off-day on Tuesday."