BOSTON — Avisail Garcia only had normal shoulder tightness and felt good Wednesday, a day after his first work out and round of batting practice in months.
Cleared for activity on Monday, the White Sox outfielder worked out for a second straight day and has a scheduled day off on Thursday.
Though he knows he must pace himself, and even though it was “weird” to take batting practice after three months off, Garcia hopes to return to the White Sox in August. The White Sox haven’t pushed up Garcia’s timeline, though on Monday general manager Rick Hahn wouldn’t rule out his return this season.
“It means a lot because they say I maybe I would be out for the rest of the season but now I get to practice with the team today so I feel great,” Garcia said. “I’m happy. My rehab (is) going good. Working hard every day, so let’s see what happens.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said late last month he’s surprised how quickly Garcia has come along and thought a player who’s out for the season would need crutches. Garcia suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder on April 9 and had season-ending surgery six days later.
Prior to Tuesday’s workout, Garcia had taken fly balls and worked on extension with trainer Herm Schneider in the indoor cage. Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Garcia’s workouts are limited and would be for a while and that this is akin to a second spring training. Hahn also said Monday that Garcia has totally healed and is at no greater risk now than he would be in five years.
Given all that, Ventura continues to like what he sees from Garcia.
“He looks good,” Ventura said. “We saw him in early BP yesterday. When you see him swing, it looks pretty normal. But I know the prognosis and schedule is for him to continue to do this and get stronger. I don’t see him doing anything with us until it’s 100 percent that he’s as strong as he’s going to get. You don’t want him going out there doing anything more awkward or different than he would if he was healthy.”
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Garcia knows he must temper his enthusiasm some. But, the rookie also can’t help but feel good about where he’s at given his initial diagnosis.
“I work hard, I don’t want to be out all year,” Garcia said. “So now I’m back, let’s see what happens. I have a chance to play.
“I don’t know (when). I can’t tell you, I can’t tell you. Let’s see how I feel. It’s something that’s going to be every day how I feel. Feel really good? Maybe, I don’t know, maybe August? Let’s see what happen.”
“I have to make sure everything is good."