It’s sounding altogether possible that Joey Votto and Jay Bruce may return to the Reds for this weekend’s series at Great American Ball Park against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Reds didn’t announce a roster move today – which means they didn’t put Votto on the disabled list. The Reds’ first baseman is suffering from a strained quad muscle and has remained in Cincinnati throughout this road trip. The Reds are playing with a 24-man roster in Washington as a result.

According to a report by C. Trent Rosecrans (Cincinnati Enquirer), manager Bryan Price said today that he was “optimistic” that Votto could play when the Reds returned to Cincinnati. If that’s how the situation develops, the Reds will have traded playing shorthanded in the three games of the Washington series for having Votto back against the Cardinals and the Dodgers next week.

Jay Bruce is recovering from surgery on May 5 to repair the meniscus in his left knee. Early estimates were that the Reds’ right fielder might return in 3-4 weeks. Bruce took live batting practice off of Mat Latos today in Washington D.C. One important factor in the timing of Bruce’s return is whether the organization will want him to take a short rehab trip to the minor leagues. When asked about that today, Price said they hadn’t decided and Bruce said he didn’t think it was necessary (Rosecrans).

From the Department of Obvious: The *healthy* return of Votto and Bruce would be tremendously welcome at any time, but even more so for the important series against the division rival Cardinals.