08/20/2012 02:14 EDT | Updated 10/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Reds' Joey Votto working way back to game shape

It’s a good thing the Cincinnati Reds continue to succeed without their franchise player because he’s not ready to return to game action.

Canadian first baseman Joey Votto will not make the trip for this week’s four-game series at Philadelphia while he continues to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee (torn medial meniscus).

“I’m healing every day,” the Toronto-born Votto told Cincinnati reporters on Sunday, adding he’s nearing a return. “I’m more able to do different things, but it’s going to take its time.”

Votto played catch and took some ground balls at Great American Ball Park prior to Sunday’s 5-4 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs. He also played catch on both weekend days and ran on the field under the supervision of Reds’ strength coach Matt Krause, but still admitted to having pain in his knee.

Votto had a second procedure on his knee on Aug. 10 to remove some loose cartilage after re-injuring the knee while practicing slides.

Cincinnati leads the National League Central Division with a 74-48 record and is 24-10 without Votto, the 2010 NL MVP who led the league in six hitting categories before leaving the lineup including doubles (36), walks (66) and on-base percentage (.465).