At this point a year ago, Todd Helton felt helpless, his back and leg aching, his statistics shrinking.

Helton has not only rebounded, he's been arguably the Rockies' most consistent offensive player this year.

"He has been," said shortstop Troy Tulowitzki .

That has left Helton in a position he never anticipated — on the "final man" ballot for the July 12 All-Star Game in Phoenix. The voting ends at 2 p.m. MDT today. Helton, who has ranked third since the ballot came out, behind Philadelphia's Shane Victorino and the Dodgers' Andre Ethier , has warmed to the idea of returning to the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 2004.

"I honestly thought my all-star days were done. It would be cool for my daughter (Tierney) to go. She's never been," Helton said. "And personally it would be a big step for me coming off last year."

Helton is hitting .315 — with nine home runs and 39 RBIs, the latter two numbers eclipsing last season's totals. He has also played Gold Glove defense. He made another terrific grab Wednesday, snaring a groundball that ricocheted off the bag.

An arduous winter workout routine and in-season maintenance have fueled Helton's revival. He credits teammate Matt Belisle , who has also had back surgery, for pushing him.

"It may sound stupid, but to have a workout partner helps. I picked a guy with abs," Helton said, his dry wit sharper than ever. "We are both on back- friendly programs."