Stanton takes step by taking swings on field

Stanton takes step by taking swings on field

Stanton takes step by taking swings on field
MIAMI -- In recent days, Giancarlo Stanton has gone from hitting in the cages to taking some swings on the big field.

These are crucial first steps in returning the Marlins' All-Star right fielder to game action.

Stanton had two cartilage chips surgically removed from his right knee on July 8, and recovery time remains four to six weeks.

Stitches were removed July 16, and Stanton has been taking some swings in the cages for a few days. On Monday, he took batting practice on the field at Marlins Park for a few minutes.

"I've been hitting in the cage every day [except Sunday], so it's not really too big of a difference," Stanton said.

Swinging a bat, he added, has not been the issue. How the knee responds to running is something that will be more closely watched. Also on Monday, he ran on the treadmill.

"I'm almost jogging at full body weight on the anti-gravity treadmill upstairs," said Stanton, who has 19 homers and 50 RBIs. "I'm at like 70 percent right now, and today hopefully I get to 80."

On the side of the knee, where the incisions were made, there remains some numbing, which Stanton said could last a month or two.

"It's not a problem," he said, "but it's part of it."

Basically, the nerve in the area is healing. The Marlins certainly miss Stanton's production, but they aren't rushing him back.

"This is a process," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't expect him to be back soon. He has to run and do outfield activities. We have to be very careful about how we handle that."

Stanton has dealt with problems to both of his knees this season. In Spring Training, he missed a few weeks with a sore left knee.

"It's still the norm," the slugger said. "It's achy once in a while, but I've lived with that."

If the left knee remains a concern at the end of September, he may decide to have a procedure done after the season.

"It depends how the season goes, but I wouldn't rule that out, if it continues to [not feel right]," Stanton said of surgery on the left knee. "Whenever someone cuts into you, you're not completely the same."