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D-backs’ GM: Drew close to next step in recovery

With each passing day, injured Diamondbacks’ shortstop Stephen Drew continues to progress and could be headed out for a minor league assignment in the near future.

“He’s getting close,” Diamondbacks’ General Manager Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Tuesday. “I think each and every day he’s getting better and better and feeling better and more confident and he’s probably in the best physical shape that he’s ever been in.”

Towers is confident when Drew returns, his improved strength and conditioning will translate into a potentially dynamic performance on the field.

“He’s strong, he doesn’t have that softness to the body anymore, and that’s a real credit to him,” Towers said. “I think you might see one of the better offensive productions that he’s had in a long, long time because he’s in incredible shape.”

Drew has been rehabbing his surgically-repaired ankle after suffering a season-ending injury last July. The 29-year-old has been playing in extended spring training, and according to Towers, has benefited from being able to get more at-bats than in a traditional atmosphere.

“I think the beauty of the extended is it’s a controlled environment,” Towers explained. “I would say probably for the next week to 10 days he’ll continue to be in extended. Once he’s ready to handle four or five innings we’ll probably send him to a [Class A] Visalia where it’s maybe a little bit quicker environment, more game speed, but all’s well.”

Barring any setbacks, it’s an encouraging sign to see Stephen Drew close to taking the next step in his arduous recovery process.

“I know he’s positive, the trainers, the doctors, everything’s looking good,” Towers said.