Barmes inching closer toward return to Pirates

Barmes inching closer toward return to Pirates

MILWAUKEE -- Whether Clint Barmes will be in Pittsburgh on Monday may well depend on what he does in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday -- and how he feels afterward.

The veteran infielder, rehabbing from a strained left groin muscle, played a full game with Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday night. Playing shortstop in Columbus, he went 2-for-4 with a walk.

The plan was for him to do so again on Sunday, then ...

"I'll make a call to check on his status and, if all goes well, he could rejoin us sometime during the Cardinals series," manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Bucs are back at PNC Park on Monday night for the opener of a three-game set with St. Louis that kicks off an August-ending six-game homestand.

Barmes has been on the DL since suffering his injury during pregame drills on July 3.

His rehab assignment began with Double-A Altoona on Aug. 14. Sunday's game would be his seventh, the last five with Indianapolis.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.