Votto hasn't played since the May 15 doubleheader and has been on the disabled list since May 21, which was retroactive to May 16 before the beginning of a road trip in which he stayed in Cincinnati with a distal quadriceps strain in his left knee.
The plan is for Votto to play at or around five to six innings on Sunday and he will be re-evaluated following the game.
"I don't know if he'll make one game or five games, I don't know, but we are going to evaluate after every game and see where we are," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Certainly we'd like to see him back with the club, but we've made an investment to get him healthier and get him closer to looking like the Joey Votto we know and now we're going to take a little sample size here with the possible games in Pawtucket and do our best to get him back here as close to normal as possible."
Votto has been taking batting practice as well as taking par tin pregame workouts. He believes he will play two games before being ready to be entered into the lineup.
"I really think it's just the durability of being in a game and doing everything," Price said. "If you're playing first base and you have to make a quick first step on a ground ball and break quickly to cover first base, getting out of the box on a swing, which is something he hasn't done in a while. The rigors of getting up and getting down, being hot, getting cold, sitting on the bench, getting back up we'll see how that progresses.
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