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Reds manager David Bell said Monday that Friedl (thumb) could return as soon as late this week or early next week, Charlie Goldsmith of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Just six games into his return from a fractured right wrist, Friedl suffered a broken left thumb as a result of a hit-by-pitch. Fortunately for Friedl and the Reds, it doesn't sound like he will have to miss nearly as much action this time around. Bell has already said he thinks Friedl could bypass a rehab assignment.

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