Brandon Phillips said he is ready to play. Reds manager Dusty Baker wants to be sure.

All-Star second baseman Phillips was out of the lineup for a fourth straight game Saturday but probably will return today, Baker said.

Phillips suffered a bruised left elbow when hit by a pitch Tuesday. Phillips took batting practice and did some defensive work at second base before Saturday's game.

"I told him I could come off the bench, if you need me," Phillips said. "I can come in on defense or a double switch or something. I'm getting there."

Baker said he was told Phillips is about ready. When Baker gets such word, he usually gives the affected player one more day off before returning him to the lineup.

"He hit a lot (Saturday), so there's a good chance he's going to get sore again," Baker said. "He'll probably be in there (Sunday)."

Phillips pinch ran in Friday's game and scored a run. Before the elbow injury, Phillips had missed two starts after injuring his ankle Aug. 6 in an outfield collision with Drew Stubbs.