MIAMI -- Barring any setbacks, Emilio Bonifacio is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter on Wednesday.
Bonifacio, on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb, remains optimistic that he will be reinstated on Aug. 19, in time for the finale of a four-game set at Colorado.
Since Friday, he's been testing the thumb while hitting off a tee. He was back in the cages on Sunday, taking swings and saying his thumb was progressing nicely.
Bonifacio reinjured his thumb in the second game of a doubleheader at Washington on Aug. 4.
Initially, the club feared the worst. The belief was Bonifacio had done serious damage to the thumb and he would be lost for the season.
But an MRI showed no structural damage.
Bonifacio had surgery to repair a torn ligament on May 25. Two pins were inserted to stabilize the thumb.
When he returns, the question will be where he will play.
After opening the season in center field, Bonifacio was moved to second after Omar Infante was traded to the Tigers on July 23.
Because Bonifacio has injured the thumb twice already, manager Ozzie Guillen feels center field could be his safest position. But one reason the club traded Infante was because it felt Bonifacio was a natural replacement.
At second base, there are more chances of injuring the thumb. The position requires more diving, as well as applying tags.
Bonifacio says he is fine at either position.
"When I get back, if they put me at second, I'm not going to be like half [healthy]," he said. "I'm going to be 100 percent. But like Ozzie says, you've got more chances [to get hurt] at second. I don't care where they put me. I don't have a problem with where they put me."