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09/15/09 7:17 PM ET

Reds activate Nix from disabled list

Starts in outfield along with Bruce against Oswalt

CINCINNATI -- Better late than never for the Reds to start getting healthy.

Outfielder Laynce Nix was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday after he missed 14 games with a bulging disk in his neck.

In 106 games, Nix was batting .251 with 13 homers, 25 doubles and 37 RBIs.

"I got a couple of epidural shots -- some darts in my neck -- and just some downtime so it could calm down," Nix said. "The shots dissipated the inflammation."

Nix didn't expect the neck issue to linger.

"I just have to maintain it. It will be fine," he said.

On Monday, the Reds were able to bring right fielder Jay Bruce back from the DL after he missed 57 games with a fractured right wrist. It's possible that catcher Ramon Hernandez, who had left knee surgery in July, could return by the weekend.

Both Nix and Bruce got their first starts since returning on Tuesday. The Astros were starting tough right-hander Roy Oswalt, who has dominated Cincinnati throughout his career.

"Those guys both give us the best chance to beat Oswalt. You just hope there's not too much rust on them," manager Dusty Baker said. "I'm still going to have to watch them some. We still don't know what kind of baseball shape they're in. They've been working out, but you just don't want them to get fatigued, especially late in the game. I might have to see how they do today and maybe give them [Wednesday] off. They probably won't like it."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.