Lee: "It won't be much longer before I'm in a game"

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Derrek Lee said his wrist felt good after hitting soft tosses, and he'll take live batting practice tomorrow.

"It'll be a good test," he said. "If it feels good off coaches' BP, then it won't be much longer before I'm in a game. I just want to make sure I get it right so I can be out here with these guys when it counts."

And when will that happen?

"No, I am not saying. I got in trouble (with that) last time," he said, grinning. "The doctor gave me a date and I probably pushed it a little early. The doctor was right and I was wrong. But we're back to a good place. It still feels great, so I don't anticipate anymore setbacks. I probably just jumped the gun a little bit and my body told me to slow down a little bit, so I listened."

Lee isn't aiming for a specific number of at-bats before the April 1 opener.

"Whatever I can get," he said, "and I will find a way to be ready."

Lee said he's in top physical condition despite being unable to hit because of a tender right wrist.

"That's the thing about not playing games. It makes you work harder, so I'm in great shape," he said. "My body feels good. Now it's just about getting out there."

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