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While his teammates enjoy their first off day of the season Thursday, Cody Ross will be in Visalia, beginning a minor league rehab assignment with the team's Single-A club.

Ross opened the season on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to March 22) with a left calf strain. The injury limited him to only four games and nine plate appearances in spring training.

"Everything feels great," he said after a workout prior to the Diamondbacks' series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday. "The progression is good. It was a pretty big test today, running the bases. I was pushing pretty good.

"I don't feel (the injury) at all when I swing nor when I run, anything so check, check, check, check," he added with a smile.

Ross, who signed a three-year, 26-million dollar contract in the offseason, is unsure how long he'll be in California.

"We're going to play it by ear," he said. "The plan is to get a couple of games DHing, off day or two and then play the field and make sure I'm ready to go nine innings and ready to go on an everyday basis."

Added manager Kirk Gibson, "When he's ready and when he feels like he's ready to play, then we'll consider bringing him back."

Ross said he has heard some talk of him maybe rejoining the big league club next Monday when the Diamondbacks return from their first road trip and open a six-game homestand.

"There's a very big possibility I could. There's also a possibility I can't," he said. "Whether it's an extra day before or extra day after, as long as it's around that time and I'm feeling good, then I'm sure everybody will be happy."

While disappointed he is not out on the field with his new teammates, Ross wants to make sure he does not rush back too soon, thus causing him to miss even more time.

"There's a really good chance I could've been ready two days ago," he said, "but the number-one thing that we wanted to make sure is the risk-reward of running out there Opening Day just to play on Opening Day or take the extra few days and make sure it's 100 percent right so that way we can have the whole season as opposed to possibly coming out on Opening Day -- the intensity is a little different than spring training, and running the risk of re-injury.

"I think we made the right move," Ross continued. "Hopefully, we can look back and say that was absolutely the best thing possible."

Craig Grialou, Reporter

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