Gonzalez takes 80 swings, faces live pitching

Gonzalez takes 80 swings, faces live pitching
March 4, 2011, 9:43 pm
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By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Adrian Gonzalez continues to progress from the offseason surgery done on his right shoulder. On Friday afternoon, he took 80 total swings, five more than planned, including 10 off live pitching.

"If at any point I feel anything, I'm going to stop," he said. "But the fact that I didn't feel anything and head athletic trainer Mike Reinold was okay with me taking five more, that's a good sign."

Gonzalez had the surgery to clean up his right labrum in October after originally injuring it diving for a foul ball in May in Houston. He initially thought he would not be able to swing a bat for four to five months, which would have taken him to either the beginning of the spring training schedule or Opening Day.

He still has no timetable as to when he'll play in his first exhibition game.

"Like I've been saying all along, just take it one day at a time," he said. "See how it responds. See how it feels today, tomorrow, and make a decision from there as to how many swings I'm going to take. I was supposed to take a total of 75 or so today. I ended up taking 80. So I felt good out there. So we'll see how it responds tomorrow."

Gonzalez said he does not have a number in mind for his next milestone, but would like to repeat at 80 swings before advancing.

"I think I have to," he said. "I think . . . from the medical standpoint, I have to. Not that I want to or don't want to, just from a medical standpoint they want me to take this number or more. I don't know how much we'll build up to before I can play in a game. But they just want to see how it responds and build up 5 or 10 swings every day and see how it responds , see if it flairs up or if it doesn't.

"The main thing about the rehab is seeing how you come in the next day. It's not how you feel today, but it's how you're going to feel tomorrow that you're really worried about. Because they don't want me to go out there and play and come in the next day and be, like, I can't raise my arm."

Manager Terry Francona had said he was pleased with Gonzalez's progress, believing his new first baseman was ahead of schedule. Gonzalez, though, has a different perspective.

"Well, maybe that's what they thought, but, for me, I don't like to set deadlines," he said. "I don't like to . . . say, 'On this day, I have to get to here,' because then you're not going off of what I feel and I got to go off of what I feel . . . I don't want to push myself more than I have to. If I don't, maybe I can get somewhere earlier than I need to . . .

"But I'm not going to say I need to do this on a certain day."

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen