MILWAUKEE -- Target dates were in sight Tuesday for the returns of Brewers starter Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza from injuries. The team hopes to restore Lohse to the rotation next week in San Diego after he missed a start with a sore ankle, and Garza has been put on a path to return from a rib-cage strain sometime during the first week of September.
The Brewers have been taking a particularly conservative approach with Lohse, who rolled his ankle on Aug. 2 in St. Louis and made two subsequent starts with compromised mechanics. After he exited an Aug. 13 start at Wrigley Field with renewed pain, the parties agreed it was time to get healthy.
The Brewers can get by with their four current starters through Monday's series opener in San Diego, making Tuesday's game at Petco Park a potential stage for Lohse's return.
"We want to make sure that he's right," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We know that to get this done, we have to have him at full strength."
Said Lohse, who has been able to continue throwing during his shutdown: "I need to get to where I can do what I need to do again."
Because of the nature of his injury, Garza's road back to the rotation is longer. After playing catch over the weekend at Dodger Stadium for the first time since he exited an Aug. 3 start in St. Louis, Garza long-tossed on Monday and Tuesday at Miller Park and reported positive results.
Whether he is sent out for a Minor League rehab start remains up for debate.
"We've talked about it. He may. It's either that or a simulated game," Roenicke said. "We want to see how everything works out, schedule-wise, and what's best to do at that point. We're a little bit fortunate that if it's September, which we're thinking it is [going to be], we don't have to have him go a certain length to really be important like you would normally because you'd burn up your bullpen. If we have some extra arms [among September call-ups], we feel if he goes three innings, he goes three innings. Wherever we need him to go."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.