His best buddy might not be thrilled with the Dodgers' careful medical approach, but catcher A.J. Ellis understands the caution being utilized on his surgically repaired left knee.
Ellis had a cleanup procedure on the knee April 8 and was expected to be out four to six weeks. He appears ahead of schedule and is already doing all baseball activities. Running is his final obstacle.
"I think we all feel pretty confident that's the last step and once we get through a pain-free, comfortable zone running, a rehab assignment should follow quickly," Ellis said.
Ellis started running lightly again over the weekend, and the knee let him know it's not fully healed.
"There's still a little bit of irritation there running only," he said. "Baseball stuff feels great -- hitting, throwing, catching. Keep getting treatment and hopefully get this irritation, inflammation cleaned out."
Ace Clayton Kershaw (strained back muscle) wanted to make his next start with the Dodgers and avoid a second rehab appearance but was overruled by the team paying him $215 million. He wasn't exactly thrilled with the decision.
For Ellis, however, this is his second surgery on the knee and he is keenly aware of the need to get his rehab right.
"It's a long season and you can play with something that nags you all year long or take the opportunity to see if it's something you can get rid of completely and be pain-free the rest of the season," he said. "That's where we're at right now.