(BaseballStL) — Mark Ellis, signed by the Cardinals to a one-year, $5.25 million contract, has yet to play a game for the club.
In fact, he has yet to be on the regular season 25 man roster. Dealing with patellar tendonitis from spring training, the 36-year-old has been on the DL since Opening Day.
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Friday, he took a more aggressive workout, pushing himself physically before the series opener with the Cubs. There hasn’t been a timetable set, but the veteran infielder says he feels close to 100 percent.
“Should be really close, should be any day now,” he said. “I just have to see how I feel here in a couple days.”
Ellis was limited by soreness in the knee, and Pete Kozma was with the club in Cincinnati in his place to open the season. He said Friday the pain was gone, and his return hinges on how quickly he can get sharp again.
“It’s fine now. It’s just a matter of getting back into baseball shape now,” he said. “Taking grounders, running a little bit and swinging the bat.”
Neither Ellis nor Mike Matheny had a hard date for return, and the Cardinal manager was uncertain on whether Ellis would be scheduled for a rehab assignment.
“We’ll just see how he looks before we make any timetable or expectations,” he said. “He’s been around long enough to know when he’s right and when he’s close. Sometimes that rehab assignment can help, and other times it’s not as effective.”
For Ellis’ part, he made it clear which he would prefer.
“Minor league rehabs are the worst. It might be necessary, but you try to avoid them at all costs,” he laughed. “It’s not something you love doing but at the same time you want to be able to help the team the best you can as soon as you step on the field out there so we’ll talk about it and see what’s best.”