Outlook: Ross returns to NL, looks to contribute

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs outfielder Cody Ross is expected to be out two to three weeks due to a strain in his lower left leg.

Ross, who was signed to a three-year, $26 million free-agent deal this winter, had an MRI exam on Monday that showed a Grade 1 strain of the soleus muscle, which is part of the calf.

"I feel terrible," Ross said. "I wanted to come in and play and get accustomed to playing with my team, so to have this setback stinks. There's nothing I can do about it now but be positive and look forward to being back out there and being a part of the team again."

Ross will not do any running for the next two weeks, but during that time he will continue to throw and take batting practice. At the end of two weeks the team will decide whether he can begin running.

"There should be plenty of time to be able to go on Opening Day," Ross said.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said whether Ross would be ready for Opening Day depends on how long the injury lingers.

"I don't know," Gibson said when asked if Ross would be ready for April 1. "In two weeks, we'll see where he's at."

D-backs won't rush Hill into full duty

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill tried to sell his manager on the fact that he was well enough to start Tuesday night's game against Team Mexico, but Kirk Gibson wasn't buying it.

Hill has been bothered by a sore left hip flexor and limited to pinch-hit duty.

"I told him the last couple of days that I wanted to play, but I didn't win that battle," Hill said. "I'm still trying to work on him for tomorrow."

Hill may as well save his breath, because after watching outfielder Cody Ross go down with a lower left leg strain that was not expected to be serious, the D-backs are going to make doubly sure that Hill is ready before he plays again.

"We're not going to try to make him push through something right now and end up with someone else who's [missing] extended time," Gibson said.

Hill said he first felt some discomfort after going through fielding drills during a morning practice.

"I didn't think it was anything big so I just kept doing everything and it didn't make it worse," Hill said. "It's just there. I don't have a problem playing through stuff."