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Adam Eaton was expected to bat leadoff for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, setting the table for the rest of the lineup as well as the tone for the team.

A self-described "grinder," the center fielder's style of is to go all-out and give maximum effort on every play.

It's made him a fan favorite in a very short amount of time, but it's also led to a couple of significant injuries early in the 24-year-old's career.

The latest ailment is an elbow strain suffered during spring training, which has kept the outfielder out of the lineup since March 22. Eaton has yet to suit up for the team in the regular season, though he says his recovery is coming along nicely, and was scheduled to see the doctor Wednesday for an update.

"I get to throw [Thursday] if all goes well," he said while visiting patients at the Barro's Neurological Rehabilitation Center at St. Joseph's Hospital Wednesday. "It's coming along great; I got to hit in the game yesterday, felt athletic, felt like i could get out there. It was good for my own psyche."

Eaton said it's been tough not playing every day, but getting a chance to hit some -- and even start throwing the baseball -- is just around the corner.

And, assuming there are nothing goes wrong, a return to the team is on the way.

"May 9th to 15th-ish area is what we're looking," he said of his timeframe. "As long as there are no setbacks, that's the key."

And it's no surprise that Eaton, who appeared set to win a starting job out of spring training, is itching to get back to the team as soon as possible.

"They're having all the fun," he said. "They're having fun hitting doubles, triples and homers and winning a lot of games and having fun doing it.

"It's exciting for to sit there and watch them play, but definitely want to be out there soon.

"Sooner, better than later, to help them win."

Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com

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