Nomar getting back in swing of things

Garciaparra takes live batting practice

PHOENIX -- Disabled third baseman Nomar Garciaparra, one month to the day after suffering a broken right hand, took live batting practice for the first time before Monday night's Dodgers-Diamondbacks game.

"It felt all right," said Garciaparra, who hit with a batting glove but no other protection on the hand that was struck by a fastball on March 7. He hit live pitching in the cage for the first time on Sunday after taking Saturday off.

"The adrenaline of the game locks in and it helps with the pain and stiffness, which I know is going to be there. I'll see how it recovers after pushing it and keep pushing. There's no use coming back to play for a game, then, OK, I have to sit because it swelled up and didn't recover."

Manager Joe Torre said Garciaparra could be looking at a Minor League rehabilitation assignment by the end of the week, but Garciaparra was more into managing expectations by declining to guess at a timetable for his return.

"I don't want to predict too much into the future," he said. "We'll see how it feels tomorrow. I'll take a step, then let it tell me and I'll listen to it rather than telling it, you're fine. The swing felt all right and I wanted to go into it without any hesitation or altering it. I didn't want to be thinking about the swing."

The freak injury, suffered the same day that third baseman Andy LaRoche torn a thumb ligament, put Garciaparra on the disabled list for the sixth time in the last five seasons.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.