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Hart's chances of returning to Brewers lineup are diminishing

The SportsXchange

The Milwaukee Brewers have played more than a week without first baseman Corey Hart and just might have to do so for the remainder of the season.

Hart's injured left foot has shown no sign of improvement since he suffered a partially torn plantar fascia Sept. 9 in St. Louis. In fact, when asked Tuesday how it felt, he offered a one-word reply that said it all.

"Same," he said.

Hart's issue is he can't make turns on the bases without pain in the foot. It was decided by the medical staff that an injection would do more harm in the long term, making it not worth the gamble in the short term.

"I can run straight. If baseball was all straight lines, I'd be good to go," he said.

"I feel like it's improving but not where I need to improve. It's tough because I want to go out there and love to play every day. But there are so many things where I would hurt our team if I was in there."

Travis Ishikawa has done an outstanding job defensively as the fill-in at first base for Hart. And Ishikawa has delivered a big hit on occasion as well.

But Hart's run production is difficult to replace. He was batting .278 with 27 home runs and 77 RBI, holding down the No. 5 spot in the lineup.

With only 15 games remaining in the season and no scheduled off days remaining, it's going to be difficult for Hart to improve enough to return to the starting lineup. At best, he'll probably be relegated to pinch-hitting duties.

"It's not like tendinitis. It's a tear," said Hart. "I was going to (take an injection) just to try to get out there, but they said it was no benefit. It might feel good for a day, but after that it would still hurt."

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