LoMo won't be ready at start of Spring Training
Recovering from right knee surgery, first baseman doesn't want to rush things
MIAMI -- Full-squad workouts for the Marlins begin on Feb. 15, and already there is an injury concern.
First baseman Logan Morrison is not expected to be cleared to run when Spring Training starts, and it is unclear if he will be ready for Opening Day.
Recovering from right knee surgery, Morrison is taking a cautious approach in his recovery. He expects to begin running in six weeks, or roughly a week into Spring Training.
"I won't be ready to go when Spring Training starts," Morrison said. "Hopefully, it will be soon after that. But I'm going to wait until it's 100 percent and ready to go. I tried to battle through it last year, and it didn't work out too well for me. I made it worse right now."
In less than a year, Morrison has had two surgeries to the same knee.
On Sept. 5, in Vail, Colo., Dr. Richard Steadman performed surgery to repair Morrison's patellar tendon. The Miami first baseman has spent most of the offseason rehabbing in Colorado.
"About a week into Spring Training, I'll start running, and it will be a progression from there," Morrison said.
Initially, Morrison had patellar tendon debridement surgery on Dec. 5, 2011. The procedure was less invasive than what took place in September.
According to Morrison, Steadman basically drilled through the patella bone and attached the tendon on the other side.
"When [Steadman] did the surgery, he said it was one of the worst he had ever seen," Morrison said.
Morrison's injury raises the question of whether he will be ready for Opening Day, which is April 1 at Washington.
"I'm not going to set a deadline or a timeline and say, 'I'm going to be ready for Opening Day,' because I just don't know," Morrison said. "I don't think anybody knows. It depends on how my knee reacts."
A year ago, Morrison was more aggressive in his recovery, and he wasn't fully healthy from the time Spring Training started. He ended up appearing in 93 games, batting .230 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs.
On July 29, the Marlins placed him on the disabled list with right knee inflammation, and he didn't return.
"I didn't help the team and made it worse," Morrison said. "It was lose-lose for everyone."
Morrison will be in South Florida this weekend to conduct his annual "LoMo Camp for a Cure," set for Saturday and Sunday at Elev8 Sports Institute (formerly Bucky Dent Baseball School) in Delray Beach, Fla.
The two-day camp will benefit the American Lung Association.
Several Miami players and executives, including Juan Pierre and Jeff Conine, are expected to attend. There are still openings for interested players, with details at www.lomo4lungs.org.
The Marlins are switching Morrison to first base this year after he primarily played left field since his 2010 rookie season.
As Morrison works his way back from his knee injury, Joe Mahoney and Greg Dobbs are first-base options currently on the 40-man roster.
Carlos Lee handled the position after being acquired from the Astros on July 4, 2012. But Lee is a free agent, and the past few months the Marlins haven't showed a strong interest to bring him back.
Morrison right now is focusing on getting healthy.
"Given what happened last year, I think it's only going to help me out to be a little more conservative this year," he said. "As far as pain, I haven't experienced the pain like I did last year. So that's a good sign.
"But who is to say, once I start running, it isn't going to start hurting again? That's why I don't want to set a deadline and stuff like that."