Morales took a positive step forward during his workout at Angel Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, running on the field at less than full speed. It was Morales' first attempt at running on the field since late in spring training when discomfort in his left foot (caused by a lack of flexibility in his injured ankle) forced the Angels to curtail his workouts. Morales was re-examined by Dr. Phil Kwong (the foot-and-ankle specialist at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles) and added orthotic inserts to a resized set of cleats after that consultation. His running had been limited to agility drills and time on a treadmill before taking it on the field Tuesday.
Manager Mike Scioscia characterized the running as "baby steps" for Morales.
"He's working on his stride, getting out there in his spikes," Scioscia said before the Angels' 2-0 victory over the Indians on Tuesday. "Hopefully, as the week goes on, the intensity will pick up. When he's running full speed and can get on the bases, he'll be ready to go out and play."
That progression could take some time. If there are no further setbacks, however, the Angels have reason to be hopeful that Morales can go on a minor league injury-rehab assignment before the end of April and possibly be back in their lineup in early to mid-May.
"Obviously, he isn't over that plateau that would allow him to play just yet," Scioscia said. "We are just waiting for him to get to the next level."
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.