PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners closer David Aardsma took a good step forward Monday. Quite a few steps, actually, as he left his crutches at his locker and ambled the 50 feet or so from the showers without any help after Monday's workout.
Since undergoing labrum surgery on his left hip in early January, Aardsma has been rehabilitating and working toward a mid-April return. For that to happen, he'll need to take the next step soon, which would mean being able to put his full weight on the hip without pain.
He said he's putting about 80 percent of his weight on the leg now, a noticeable improvement from last week.
"That doesn't mean I'm off the crutches on Wednesday. It just means I'm close," he said. "If I get sore, I'll need to back off. They said that is probably going to happen."
Aardsma has said all along he doesn't want to push too hard too soon, and wind up hurting himself further, so proper pace is critical.
He said he expects to be fully mobile again in a couple more days. And once he can fully walk, he'll begin playing catch and the throwing program that ultimately will determine his return.
"I'm tired of watching."