SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brewers All-Star right fielder Corey Hart had a minor setback during outfield drills Saturday and said he expects to miss the original two-week projection for his recovery from a strained rib cage muscle.

One week after he strained a muscle along his left side during a throwing exercise, Hart took fly balls at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday. When he made a quick turn and felt the muscle grab, he ended the session.

"I was hoping it would feel better than it did," Hart said. "It's not getting worse, but it's obviously not going as fast as I would like it to go."

Hart was hoping to be ready to resume hitting by this weekend, but instead will report back to the training room on Monday morning to, as he said, "start over."

The Brewers originally estimated that Hart would miss about two weeks of games, putting him on track to begin Cactus League play by about March 14. That would have given him plenty of time to be ready for the team's March 31 season-opener in Cincinnati.

Now, Hart is bracing to be out longer.

"Two weeks would have been nice," he said. "But I think we definitely might be a little longer. I don't know any timetable. Those things can last two weeks or a month."

The Brewers will be cautious, manager Ron Roenicke said.

"It will be a day-to-day thing to see how much we can push him," he said. "I still think he's going to be ready for Opening Day. Even if it's a week playing [Cactus League] games, I think he'll be fine."

If Hart misses any regular-season time, the Brewers would cover with a combination of Mark Kotsay and other backups. Candidates for the remaining outfield opening include 40-man roster members Chris Dickerson and Brandon Boggs and non-roster invitee Jeremy Reed.

Infielder Mat Gamel is also sidelined by a rib cage strain, but took 25 dry swings on Sunday without incident, according to Roenicke. Gamel will take part in soft toss before advancing to regular batting practice.

Lucroy, Wolf working on chemistry

PHOENIX -- Rehabbing Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy will spend as much time as possible catching left-hander Randy Wolf in the coming weeks, manager Ron Roenicke said Sunday.

Lucroy was a rookie in 2010 who essentially made the jump from Double-A to the Major Leagues, and he had trouble getting on the same page with the veteran Wolf. No. 2 catcher George Kottaras mostly handled Wolf's starts in the second half of the season.

A number of factors were in play, including Wolf's complicated set of signs, but the manager wants the Lucroy-Wolf duo to work in 2011. So while Lucroy waits for a fractured pinkie finger on his throwing hand to heal, Roenicke said he'll handle as many of Wolf's bullpen sessions as possible.

Pitching prospect Rogers set for next step

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Top Brewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers, whose progress has been slow this spring by a stiff shoulder, is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Tuesday and hopes to pitch in a game before the end of the week.

Rogers was encouraged by a 45-pitch bullpen on Saturday, and received word from the medical staff Sunday morning that he was ready to advance to live BP. That's usually the final step a pitcher must take before pitching in a Spring Training game.

Rogers cut short a similar session on Feb. 23 when he couldn't shake the stiffness in his surgically repaired right shoulder. He's been playing catch-up since then.

"It was really tough to [stop] at the time," Rogers said. "But it looks like the right thing. ...

"They haven't told me a date for a game yet, but it's getting really close. The good thing is I feel normal. That's the most exciting part about it, that I get on the mound with no hesitation."

Rogers has not been informed of the club's plan for him this season. He finished 2010 in the Major Leagues, but the Brewers' starting rotation is set and Rogers has one Minor League option remaining.

Last call

Luis Cruz was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's split-squad action because of a sore right forearm, manager Ron Roenicke said. He was available to bat in the Brewers' game at the Rangers. ... A trio of Phoenix police officers helped veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins pull a prank on rookie Dan Merklinger during Sunday morning's team meeting. Merklinger failed to provide donuts for the clubhouse the day before, and may have concocted a story about a traffic accident as cover. Hawkins made him pay by inviting the cops to approach Merklinger as if they were going to arrest him. ... Sunday marked the second of three split-squad days for the Brewers, who will face the Padres and Royals on March 28. Roenicke wanted to see Chris Narveson pitch in person against the A's, so Double-A Huntsville manager Mike Guerrero managed the Brewers-Rangers game on Sunday. His brother, Sandy, the hitting coach for Triple-A Nashville, coached third base, and roving Minor League outfield and baserunning instructor Reggie Williams coached first base.