ANAHEIM -- When Ian Stewart got plunked in his left hand on May 11 and postgame X-rays came back negative, the Angels third baseman figured it'd be a week before the swelling would go down and he'd get back to playing baseball again.
It's been a month.
Stewart -- on the shelf since exiting that game at Rogers Centre -- is still dealing with lingering soreness in his left hand, even though a recent MRI revealed no structural damage. He received two cortisone injections on the hand on Friday, has been taking swings in the cage the last couple of days and is hopeful of taking live batting practice on the field by Saturday -- the final step before restarting his rehab assignment.
Stewart began a rehab assignment on May 25, but left the Triple-A team after two games because his hand was not ready.
"I'm trying to get over that last hump of the soreness, and it's kind of lingering," said Stewart, who was batting .176 with two homers in 24 games before going down. "I tried to push through it the first time, and it probably set me back an extra two weeks. So I'm more just trying to take it a little slower this time so I'm not having to start all over again."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less