OAKLAND -- Dodgers infielder Mark Ellis won't say he's ahead of schedule in his recovery from an unusual and painful lower left leg injury, because he never had a schedule.
But he did say Tuesday that the progress has been steady and he's eager to return. He's begun to sprint and take grounders, will run the bases this week and now is focused on regaining his hitting stroke.
"The big thing was getting over the mental hurdle that it wasn't going to break down," Ellis said. "I did that pretty quick. There's no discomfort. The knee it not bothering me at all and that's a really good sign. I'm further along than I thought at this point. Every day I'm getting a little better, but I still don't know when I'll be playing."
Ellis had an emergency fasciotomy May 20 to relieve swelling pressure in the leg and also suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a bone bruise below the knee from a take-out slide by St. Louis' Tyler Greene.
He has an eight-inch scar still pink and healing from the surgery, necessitated when it was determined that a muscle had been cut, causing bleeding that was trapped by the muscle sheath. Doctors that performed emergency surgery said he could have lost the leg without it.
Ellis was pleased to make the trip to Oakland, where he played for 10 years.
"I've got so many friends here -- not only players but security guards and clubhouse staff. It's good to be back," he said. "It feels a little weird to be back on the other side."