Sizemore completes first sprint, agility work

Sizemore completes first sprint, agility work

Sizemore completes first sprint, agility work
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The rain storm that cooled off the Arizona desert on Sunday morning, forcing the Indians to alter their first full-squad workout of the spring, subsided just enough for Grady Sizemore to continue his rehab program outdoors.

Down the right-field line on Field 2 at the team's player development complex, Sizemore sprinted at half-speed for a few minutes, adding some agility work to his routine after that. It was another positive step forward in the center fielder's comeback from microfracture surgery on his left knee.

"He started sprinting today. It went well," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He was supposed to do it at 50-60 percent and he felt good after it. He also did some agility drills for the first time and everything went well."

The agility exercises that Sizemore ran through included moving side to side and backwards. It was the first time he did more than light jogging since undergoing the operation on his knee in June. Right now, Sizemore still maintains that his focus is on returning to the lineup in time for Opening Day on April 1.

"The goal is still to be ready for the home opener," Sizemore said. "But we're basically going off the knee. If the knee doesn't feel good, we're not going to push forward and go to the next step if I'm not feeling capable of doing that."

If Sizemore is not ready for Opening Day, the plan is to move Michael Brantley to center field. Austin Kearns would move from the bench to left, which is Brantley's planned position at the moment.

Sizemore is currently following an every-other-day program, so he will likely resume his running program on Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest. The outfielder said his knee has presented no issues when hitting, which he has been doing for about a month, or while throwing.

Sizemore knows that his biggest challenge will be increasing the aggressiveness of his running program. As things currently stand, it is not clear when he will begin taking part in outfield drills or when Cleveland plans on using him in spring games. Sizemore will likely sit out at least the first week of exhibition games.

"It's hard," Sizemore said of the long comeback trail. "But it's been such a long rehab that I'm not looking to push anything and make it worse. Obviously, the whole thing with the surgery was take it easy and don't push the program. It was going to be a long recovery."

Acta, who is entering his second season as Cleveland's manager, said he can't wait for the day he finally sees Sizemore back at full strength.

"That was something that I was really looking forward to when I took this job," Acta said. "To me, it was a treat -- that's all I could think of -- being able to see this guy from the dugout for 160 games. I haven't been able to do it. I can't wait to be able to do it, because all I've seen in the past is either doing it against me in Interleague or those great highlights.

"I thought I was going to have a front-row seat, but I haven't been able to yet."