Help can be seen on the not-so-far horizon.

Injured Rockies starting pitchers Brett Anderson and Tyler Chatwood are making significant strides toward returning, possibly before the all-star break.

Anderson, a lefty, had the surgically implanted pins removed from his left index finger Tuesday. Chatwood, the righty, who has a strained flexor tendon, is playing catch from a distance of about 75 feet.

Team trainer Keith Dugger said he doesn't have a specific timetable for either pitchers' return, but did say that Anderson has a shot at coming back in the first week of July. Anderson still has to get in shape and begin a throwing program to build up his arm strength.

"It hurt to take those pins out, but everything is good," Dugger said.

It's tougher to predict when Chatwood might return.

"When you're talking about the elbow and the arm, you just don't know," Dugger said. "He's throwing pain-free right now, and things are good. But we'll have to see what happens when he starts throwing off a mound or pitching live (batting practice)."

After playing long-toss for four consecutive days, Chatwood will take two days off before resuming his throwing program.