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08/11/09 8:55 PM ET

Glaus may return as third baseman

Cardinals infielder's right shoulder, back feeling better

ST. LOUIS -- Troy Glaus is inching closer to appearing in games again. More surprising, he might do so as a third baseman.

A long and frustrating season of rehabilitation has taken an uptick for Glaus, who is feeling improvement not only in his back but in his surgically repaired right shoulder. It's the shoulder that placed him on the disabled list and forced him to miss the first four months, but it's the back that cut his Minor League rehabilitation assignment short.

Now they're both coming along well. His back has cleared up enough for Glaus to begin swinging a bat; he took about 15 swings off a tee on Monday and was planning on 25-30 on Tuesday.

"There's still a little bit [of back pain]," Glaus said. "But as long as none of this aggravates it worse, then we're OK."

Glaus said that if he experienced a similar level of back pain during the season, minus the shoulder issues, he'd play through it. And as for the shoulder issue, it's much less of an issue. Earlier this summer, the Cardinals experimented with Glaus in the outfield, in order to shield him from having to make too many painful throws.

Now he's working out at third base.

"The last week, [my throwing] has been going pretty well," he said. "But it hasn't been functional type of throwing. It's all been playing catch. It would be fine and dandy if every throw I made was on perfect balance with perfect mechanics to someone who's not moving. But that's not reality. Today was a good, big step forward."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.