Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 6/4/12
PHOENIX -- After an extensive rehab period in the Diamondbacks' extended spring training, shortstop Stephen Drew is ready to take an important step with a minor league rehab assignment this week. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said before Monday's game that Drew, who suffered a fractured right ankle July 20 of last season, is expected to join Triple-A Reno on Thursday for a series in Tucson against the Padres' Triple-A affiliate. "We'll see how he does," Gibson said. "With extended (spring training) he's afforded more latitude in preparing for the game and in the game. Now he's going into games. He's going to play a game. He's not going to lead off every inning, he can't be jogging down to the bases. He's going to be playing in a competitive game." The length of Drew's rehab assignment with Reno is unclear and will depend on how he reacts in the competitive environment. The maximum allowed number of games on a rehab assignment is 20, but if both sides agree more time is needed, the assignment can be extended. "He'll be there for a while," Gibson said. "He's had a substantial injury." Drew was at Chase Field on Monday to take infield practice and hit before the D-backs opened a series with the Colorado Rockies. He wrapped up his stint with the team's extended spring training team over the weekend, playing back-to-back games, which Gibson said he came out of "fine." Reliever Takashi Saito, on the disabled with a strained calf since the end of spring training, is also expected to begin rehabbing with Reno on Tuesday after throwing in an inning of extended spring training Saturday.
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