PEORIA, Ariz. -- Closer David Aardsma was walking without crutches for much of the day Wednesday, but says he's still probably a week away from beginning to throw as he returns from labrum surgery on his left hip.
Aardsma, 29, took a cart out to the practice field as he's been doing all camp, but this time, he walked the length of the field without any aid and then went between several fields as well before taking the cart back to the clubhouse.
He spent most of the day carrying the crutches instead of using them, having been told to rely on them for the next few days only when his hip starts tiring. For the most part, however, he's about ready to take the next step toward actually throwing again for the first time since his surgery in early January.
"I'm excited. It was a good day walking and progressing," he said. "Walking feels normal again."
He won't be pitching any time soon, however. He'll start his throwing program from ground zero and need to work his way back up to playing catch on flat ground, then extending to long toss, eventually moving to the bullpen and finally the regular mound in game action, a process that figures to take at least two months. But first things first.
"Right now the plan is to take maybe about a week and really get comfortable walking and rotating and getting my body in the right direction, so when we start throwing, there are no setbacks," he said. "I think it's smart to not jump into something before my body is ready."