By our count: 3 weeks down, 3 to go

Time never went by so slowly. But it won’t be long. By the time football season kicks off, maybe; just maybe Jay Bruce will be taking swings again at a Major League ball park near you.

This little nugget gave us some hope:

Bruce will wear that cast on his non-throwing arm for another 10 days before he is evaluated again. “I’m pretty much back to normal activity as far as physical stuff — throwing, running, lifting,” Bruce said on Tuesday. “I’m just getting ready so when I do get the cast off, the only thing I’d have to do is get my arm ready and not anything else.” Bruce was hoping for a September return if his rehabilitation continued to progress without complications.

If you’ve seen the Reds offense lately, you realize that they need Jay Bruce back not only this year but in the long-term future. The dependence is going to be there. Bruce’s 18 home runs still lead the team and there’s a 50/50 chance that when he returns he might still be leading the team. That’s no compliment to this year’s squad.

We’d just like to see Jay get back and hit 4 home runs before the season’s final game so he can top his rookie total of 21. At this point, we’re just hoping for baby steps. Keep on workin’ Jay. Diamond Hoggers is not the same without you.