Ausmus progressing ahead of schedule

Ausmus progressing ahead of schedule

LOS ANGELES -- It's been slightly more than 10 weeks since Brad Ausmus underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, and the 41-year-old catcher is working his way back ahead of schedule.

"I know one thing, [team trainer Stan Conte] told me he's doing a lot more than he expected him to do at this point," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Sunday. "He's in the weight room every day, very strenuous program and he's been rebounding very well."

Ausmus has been hitting since the Dodgers' last homestand and he practiced throwing to the bases this week. The most difficult thing for Ausmus at the moment is coming out of the crouch quickly to make fielding or throwing motions because his left leg is weaker. While receiving and hitting, Ausmus said he has no interference.

"My swing hasn't felt good for decades," Ausmus joked of his reputation as a defensive catcher. "I feel a little soreness sometimes, but it feels pretty good."

The benchmark Ausmus was given when he went in for surgery was 12 weeks until he could consider rehab games.

"I'm just giving him to the All-Star Game, and we'll check," Torre said.