Freese expects to return by spring

Freese expects to return by spring

ST. LOUIS -- David Freese expressed confidence on Friday regarding the pace of his rehabilitation from right ankle surgery. The Cardinals' third baseman said that he has every expectation that he'll be ready to play before Spring Training 2011 starts.

Freese, 27, was playing in a Minor League rehabilitation game as he attempted to come back from a right ankle injury when he reinjured the ankle, requiring season-ending surgery. Since the August operation, he said things have been progressing very well.

"The way we're looking at it now is, I'll be full-bore well before Spring Training," Freese said. "I wish it didn't happen, but it's better [to do this] now than the middle of October or something. We've got a plan together, and it's going to get me ready way before Spring Training. We're all positive about the outcome."

Freese had a checkup on the ankle last week, and at that time, he underwent a separate procedure for a "cleanup" of his left ankle. He strongly downplayed that operation, though.

"It's been a week and I'm already walking on it fine," he said. "It was just a cleanup. I didn't even get a rehab plan for it."

Freese was walking with a boot on his right ankle, but had that removed during his checkup. He now wears an air cast when he's not going through rehab. However, he was moving around the clubhouse reasonably well without the cast on Friday afternoon.