Walker's Back

Cubs outfield prospect Chris Walker originally thought he would miss the remainder of the season with a high ankle sprain.

Close enough.

Expected to miss up to three months, which would have ended his 2007 season, Walker was scheduled to report to Des Moines Friday and rejoin Triple-A Iowa in time for the team's final series of the year against Omaha.

The 27-year-old Walker batted .295 in 24 games with Double-A Tennessee this season. He spent over two months with Iowa after being promoted there in late April, batting .200 while seeing limited playing time.

After being sent down from Iowa, Walker returned to Tennessee following a brief stay with Class-A Daytona. Playing in just his fifth game back with the Double-A club on July 23, he suffered a sprained right ankle while sliding into second base in a game against Carolina at Smokies Park.

"I don't think the injury was as serious as it was originally perceived," Walker said from Mesa on Thursday. "I'm thankful to be playing again."

The outfielder, who had been named to three consecutive All-Star teams entering the season and had received an invitation to Big League Spring Training camp this past year, has seen action in the Arizona Rookie League over the past 10 days, batting .429 in six games with the Mesa Cubs.

Walker was a sixth-round Cubs draft pick from Georgia Southern in 2002.

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