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Longoria feels “really good,” encouraged by rehab

Posted Apr 14, 2011 by Tribune Sports

Updated Apr 14, 2011 at 07:20 PM

By TONY FABRIZIO

ST. PETERSBURG All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria said Thursday his rehab from a strained left oblique is going so well he is relying on the trainers to keep him from accelerating his schedule.

The Rays’ leading run producer has been out since April 3 and will miss a minimum of three weeks, although he is eligible to come off the DL on Monday. He stayed back during the team’s trip to Chicago and Boston to receive treatments and begin a variety of exercises.

He started running arcs in the outfield earlier this week and, Wednesday, did rotational exercises with a medicine ball in a pool for the first time.

“I feel really good,” Longoria said. “This is the point in time where the trainers kind of have to do their job in forcing me to back off of it, but I feel like there is an opportunity to push a little more.

“Like I said from the beginning, I didn’t feel like it was as bad as it showed (on an MRI). So we’re kind of treating it that way, just doing what I can and trying to keep the progression as slow as they can make me go. But the last couple of days have been real promising.”

Longoria will progress to throwing and taking try swings, hitting off a tee, hitting tossed balls and eventually taking batting practice. The Rays stay with a conservative schedule to minimize the risk of reinjury.

Manager Joe Maddon said it’s still too early to project when and for how long Longoria will go on a minor league rehab assignment.

“Once we get to that point, we’ll sit down and talk to him and see how much physical skill work he can do prior to going out and playing,” Maddon said. “I want to make sure that (trainer) Ronnie (Porterfield) is comfortable that all the torquing and tweaking that he’s going to do has been covered adequately in this timeframe.”

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