TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols hopes to begin agility drills and light running in a couple of days to test his surgically repaired right knee.
Pujols underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee in October, what he considered a minor cleanup procedure, but said Thursday he will ease into spring training with the hopes of being fully healthy for opening day.
"It was just regular rehab," Pujols said. "Everyone knows that a week after the season needed to have a little cleanup to my right knee. You saw how I played the last six or seven weeks of the season. I was in a lot of plain. Everything's good, I rehabbed really well. Coming down to spring training is going to be a little bit different than last year where I was kind of doing everything. Right now, I'm kind of easing into it. My goal is to be ready for opening day."
He said he will get his at-bats in some Cactus League games as soon as his knee can handle it. There's no reason to overdo things in mid-February with the season still almost two months away, he said.
Pujols struggled early last season and hit .285 with 30 homers and 105 RBIs in his first season with the Angels after leaving the St. Louis Cardinals on a $240 million, 10-year deal.
He strained his right calf in late August, and was limited on the basepaths and in the field for the rest of the season. Pujols largely was a designated hitter down the stretch, and his leg injury noticeably affected his baserunning.
The three-time NL MVP has begun hitting and fielding groundballs. The Angels' first full-squad spring workout is Friday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
"We're going to keep it simple, not much running yet," Pujols said. "We have plenty of time. I'm not going to rush myself."