Stanton could return as early as Tuesday

Stanton could return as early as Tuesday

ATLANTA -- If all goes according to plan, Giancarlo Stanton could be back in the Marlins' lineup in less than a week.

Barring any setbacks, Stanton could be back in the lineup on Tuesday in the series opener against the Mets at Citi Field.

Stanton is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter on Thursday. The hope is the All-Star right fielder will need only a few Minor League games before returning to big league action.

Stanton had two cartilage chips removed from his right knee on July 8, and recovery was estimated to be four to six weeks.

Miami is hoping that it is closer to the four-week mark.

Stanton has not played since July 7 in St. Louis, when he was removed from the game after two innings due to soreness in his right knee. The surgery was performed by Marlins physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan, the next day in Miami.

The 22-year-old still paces the club with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs. In 80 games, he's batting .284.