MIAMI - Ben Revere has begun running and taking light swings, his first baseball-related activities since straining his right oblique muscle on opening day 2 1/2 weeks ago.
Revere, who suffered the injury on his very first swing with the Nationals, ran in the outfield at Marlins Park this afternoon, then also took some light, right-handed swings in the cage to test his side. He emerged feeling confident about his recovery, albeit sore from the layoff.
“Everything felt good. I just need to get my legs back in order,” he said. “Having taken how many days off, really doing nothing, body shut down, it’s kind of tough to get your body back going. But this past week, just trying to work everything back and get the blood pumping, the legs working. They’re sore as crap right now, but it’s a good soreness.”
Though he strictly is a left-handed batter, Revere’s first swings have come right-handed. That’s not because he’s suddenly thinking about becoming a switch-hitter, but because doctors told him it’s safer to take initial swings from the same side of the body as the oblique strain.
“I guess that’s the test that they start you on: the opposite side first,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Who knows, maybe within a couple days he may start swinging some, doing more baseball activity and trying to work him into it until it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it.”
Revere said he hopes to start hitting off a tee within a few days. After that, the toughest challenge will be ensuring he doesn’t try to do too much too soon.
“Ease your way back into it,” he said. “You don’t want to re-aggravate this. You want to come back strong, and right now it’s getting stronger the more stuff I do. Once I start hitting, I think I’ll ease into it and it’ll be a lot better for me.”
Even if he begins hitting within a few days, Revere still needs some time to get back into full baseball shape. He’ll likely need to go on a minor-league rehab assignment, so his return remains several weeks away.