Reds Seek Votto's Return

HOUSTON (AP) - Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker says he would like to have injured first baseman Joey Votto back in the lineup on Monday.

Baker said Friday that he hasn't ruled out Votto rejoining the team this weekend.

But Baker says he'd prefer Votto make his return from two surgical procedures on his left knee next week.

Votto is on a rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Dayton. He has played twice there and was scheduled to play again Friday night.

Cincinnati hasn't missed a beat since Votto left the lineup July 16. The NL Central leaders entered Friday night's game at Houston with a 30-14 record since then.

Votto had arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus on July 17 and a floating piece of cartilage removed on Aug. 11.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)