MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 04: Zack Greinke #13 of the Milwaukee Brewers greets coaches during player inrtoductions before the home opener against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park on April 4, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Braves defeated the Brewers 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Zack Greinke Ready To Return To Brewers

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Zack Greinke Finishes Rehab, Ready To Return To Brewers

Good news for the 13-12 Milwaukee Brewers: here comes Zack Greinke.

On Friday night, Greinke made his final rehab appearance with AAA Nashville, striking out seven batters over five incident-free innings, meaning that Greinke is now ready to join the major league rotation.

It's expected that the Brewers will promote Greinke and start him this Wednesday against the Braves. He will boot Marco Estrada from the rotation, and join Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Chris Narveson and Randy Wolf in what should become one of the National League's better starting fives.

The Brewers' rotation already has a collective 3.67 ERA, and now it gets to add the guy who was supposed to be the Opening Day starter before his rib injury. In three minor-league rehab starts, Greinke threw 10.2 innings, with two walks and 13 strikeouts. His stuff and command are apparently all there, and he should hit the ground running.

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Zack Greinke Makes Solid Start In Injury Rehab

Zack Greinke has been out of action since the beginning of spring with a fractured rib sustained while playing basketball. The last time we checked in, he hadn't yet begun to throw off a mound. So now, for Brewers fans, this should come as good news:

Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke was sharp in his first Minor League rehabilitation start, a scoreless, three-inning stint for Class-A Brevard County on Tuesday night.

Greinke isn't only back on a mound; he's back on a mound in a competitive environment, facing live hitters. Greinke reportedly felt great, and threw his fastball in the low-90s with good command.

So this is a sign of progress. He's still going to make at least another couple rehab starts - Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he wants Greinke to throw at least three games before coming off the DL - but the date of his return is drawing nearer, with one possible target date being May 4.

The Brewers currently have a team 3.34 ERA, and, with Greinke, could boast one of baseball's best overall pitching staffs.

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Zack Greinke Rib Injury Might Keep Brewers Ace Out Until May

The Milwaukee Brewers traded for Zack Greinke to serve as their ace, so initial news of his fractured rib was met with disappointment. Instead of getting the ball on Opening Day, Greinke looked like he'd have to miss his first three turns.

Greinke's making progress in his recovery now, which is good. However, that initial three-start timetable? That doesn't look like it's going to come true. Writes Adam McCalvy:

CINCINNATI -- The Brewers expect injured starter Zack Greinke to begin throwing off a mound this weekend in Cincinnati or early next week in Milwaukee, but he's still weeks away from being activated from the disabled list and could miss all of April, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Once Greinke gets onto a mound, it then becomes a matter of building up arm strength, facing hitters, and stretching out. And as you can imagine, that can be quite the process. The Brewers thought they'd be able to get Greinke onto a mound earlier, but he had some lingering discomfort, so it was delayed.

In the end, Greinke will be fine, and he'll be effective, but every lost start could end up being big in a competitive division.

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Zack Greinke Has Rib Injury, Will Miss Beginning Of Season

When the Brewers traded a package of talent to the Royals in exchange for Zack Greinke, they were doing so to acquire an ace. Greinke was to lead a rotation that also includes Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum, and shortly after the deal was made, the Brewers announced that Greinke would get the ball on Opening Day.

Well, now there's bad news. Greinke had some early workouts pushed back this spring due to a rib injury. Eventually he made his way to the mound and started a couple games, but he wasn't quite himself, and now the Brewers are saying that Greinke will miss his first few starts of the regular season with a rib injury.

As it turns out, Greinke fractured a rib while playing basketball and going after a rebound. An MRI revealed the hairline fracture, and according to reports, the rib will take about 4-6 weeks to heal. The current timetable, then, is that Greinke will miss his first three starts.

That timetable obviously isn't set in stone, but what is set in stone is that Greinke will not be healthy enough to get the nod in the opener. That honor will now likely go to Gallardo. For more on Greinke and the Brewers, be sure to check out Brew Crew Ball.

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