Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/31/12

Joey Votto moved a step closer to returning Monday when he began baseball activities. How close, he couldn't say.

"It's hard for me to tell," Votto said before the Cincinnati Reds' 11-5 loss to San Diego. "I feel like I've made subtle improvements every day. But (the medical staff) has a lot of very positive things to say."

Votto, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee July 17, is running and doing agility drills.

"But not at 100 percent," he said.

Votto has no timetable for his return. He said he's still dealing with some pain.

"If it was pain-free, I'd be playing right now," Votto said.

Votto will start hitting soon.

"I'd like to start as soon as I'm ready," he said. "But, like I said before, my body will tell me when I'm ready."

Votto wants to get back to playing by as soon as reasonably possible.

"I've done nothing but try to get back as soon as possible," he said. "It's difficult watching the games and not being able to play, so I do everything I can to put myself in a position to come back as soon as possible. But, again, I don't mean to get philosophical, but some things you have to let go. This is one of those instances. I've got to let my body do all the healing it can."

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