San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. made a significant step toward returning to the field after being cleared to take live batting practice on Aug. 1.
Tatis appears ready to take another leap forward in his recovery from surgery in March to repair a fractured wrist.
On Friday, Padres manager Bob Melvin said Tatis would begin a rehab assignment with Double-A San Antonio this weekend.
Melvin added that Tatis would play multiple positions with San Antonio, including shortstop, centerfield, and designated hitter.
Tatis earned his first All-Star nod in 2021, finishing the year batting .282/.364/.611 with 42 home runs and 97 RBI in 130 games for the Friars.
When Tatis returns, he’ll join a new-look Padres lineup, which includes the addition of first baseman Josh Bell and superstar outfielder Juan Soto. The Padres acquired the All-Star duo in a blockbuster deal with the Washington Nationals before the MLB trade deadline on Tuesday.
In the National League playoff hunt, the Padres continue to trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by double-digit games for the NL West lead.
However, it’s a much different story in the wildcard race. San Diego currently occupies the second NL wildcard spot and remain within striking distance of the Atlanta Braves, who hold the top wildcard berth.