Progress for Hoffman

Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman played catch Sunday for the first time in more than a week, and while he’s still likely to begin the season on the disabled list, at least it was a step forward.

Hoffman had been shut down since March 20 because of a strained muscle on his right side. If he can get healthy in a hurry, the Brewers could backdate a stint on the DL such that Hoffman would only have to miss the first four games of the regular season.

“We still have a long way to go, but we’re making progress,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said.

Hoffman is likely to remain with the team for treatment when the Brewers break camp Thursday night and travel to California for two exhibitions against the Dodgers and then the season-opening series against the Giants. At some point he could be sent out — either to Triple-A Nashville or Class A Wisconsin — for a rehabilitation outing or two.

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