Spring training injury update: Albert Pujols closer to playing on defense

Albert Pujols
Pujols eyes playing games in the field. (USATSI)

Time to take a journey around the wide world of nagging spring training injuries:

  • Los Angeles Angels : Albert Pujols has been playing in games as a designated hitter as he recovers from offseason knee surgery, but he's getting close to returning to the defensive end. The Angels are saying Pujols will be ready to play first base "within the next week." (MLB.com)
  • Atlanta Braves : Reliever Jordan Walden is dealing with a back issue and it appears he's close to being fully healthy. The problem is that he may not have enough time to get ready for the start of the season. The Braves want him to make five appearances in spring action before he's with the team in the regular season. (MLB.com)
  • Milwaukee Brewers : Third baseman Aramis Ramirez had been out for almost two weeks with a sprained knee, but he returned to action Friday and reported no issues. In fact, he made a joke about his lackluster speed, saying, "I'm flying again," while discussing his infield hit. (MLB.com)
  • Chicago Cubs : Third baseman Ian Stewart has "no lingering issues" with his surgically repaired wrist. He looks to play a minor-league game Saturday. (MLB.com via Twitter)
  • St. Louis Cardinals : Rafael Furcal had his Tommy John surgery Friday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Reliever Marc Rzepczynski (golf-related projectile eye injury) is cleared to return to action and is scheduled to do so Saturday. (MLB.com via Twitter)
  • Cleveland Indians : Closer Chris Perez (shoulder strain) is scheduled to throw off a mound Saturday. (MLB.com via Twitter)
  • Washington Nationals : Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is coming off offseason shoulder surgery and took grounders Friday -- which included completing the play by throwing the ball across the diamond to first. No issues were reported and he eyes game action at third base either Saturday or Monday. (Washingtonpost.com)
  • Baltimore Orioles : Nick Markakis is working his way back from a neck injury, and there was some good news indirectly Friday morning. Markakis went to visit with manager Buck Showalter and did not mention his neck. (MLB.com)
  • Tampa Bay Rays : Outfielder Sam Fuld has dealt with a tight hamstring since March 3 and was supposed to be back in the lineup Saturday, but he's going to push that back a bit. Still, he insists there haven't been any setbacks. (MLB.com)
  • Boston Red Sox : Reliever Franklin Morales has a bulging disc in his back and had to have an epidural injection to alleviate the pain. His return to the field is unclear at this point. Also, David Ortiz looks to take batting practice Monday and "has responded favorably to medication, rest and treatment." (Boston.com)
  • Chicago White Sox : Starting pitcher John Danks is coming back from shoulder surgery and thus far he's only making "baby steps" worth of progress, though pitching coach Don Cooper still has faith Danks will be ready to open the season with the club. (chicagotribune.com)

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