Turner starts full throwing, almost cleared for swinging bat

Trea Turner was out at his familiar shortstop position this afternoon, fielding grounders and making throws across the diamond for the first time since an errant fastball fractured his wrist six weeks ago He's been running nearly nonstop the entire time he's been on the disabled list.

trea-turner-bat-blue-back.jpgAll that's left for Turner to do is swing a bat, and that should be happening in the very near future after the Nationals leadoff man was cleared to begin rotational weight-lifting with right hand.

"That should help with the hitting," he said. "And I'm hoping that speeds all that up."

After more than a month spent waiting to begin baseball activities, Turner has ramped things up considerably in the last week. His throws today were the clearest sign yet that the bone has healed and that he's about ready to advance to the final stages of his rehab.

"I think in the last week or so I've been able to get more treatment," he said. "The bone is, I guess, healed enough to do that stuff, and that's helped me out quite a bit. I don't think I could throw very well maybe even a week ago. And right now, I feel like I could make plays at short. It's been quick."

Turner had been taking grounders for a while, though he hadn't been cleared to throw until the last few days. It admittedly hasn't been easy to hold back as much as the Nationals training staff requires.

"They limit me a lot more than I think I should be," he said. "I feel like I know my body and know what hurts. So yesterday, I threw 60-75 feet, whatever it was. But I knew in my mind I could probably throw it a lot farther and harder. And I'm sure if I threw it 100 percent, it wouldn't feel that great. But I know I can throw it harder than I did yesterday.

"So in a sense, I feel like I'm learning my body. I know what hurts and what doesn't hurt, and I try to vocalize that. But they're a lot more forward-thinking than I am. They don't want me throwing a lot because my arm's not in shape like it was before. It's stuff I haven't thought about that they have the expertise on. So I'm trying to push it a little but also be smart about it."

If all proceeds as hoped, Turner would begin swinging a bat within the next week, then progress to the point where he could go on a minor league rehab assignment. Given how long he's been out, he'll need to get ample at-bats on rehab before the Nationals activate him, but he still feels like he'll be back in the majors with plenty of time to spare before October.

"I want to play 30 games, 40 games, whatever it is, to just get my timing back," he said. "I have no say in that. It's just when my body lets me. If it's less, then I've got to get ready faster. Just to be back in enough time for the games that matter would be huge."

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