SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The San Francisco Giants' 2012 season inched forward 90 feet at a time Tuesday. On a back field away from the crowds, Buster Posey ran the bases.
It was another step in the comeback from his devastating ankle injury suffered last May, and count it in the "two steps forward" department, which beats the heck out of the "one step back" slot.
"That's kind of how my rehab has gone," a pleased Posey said. "When I challenge it to do something new, things seem to go better."
The Giants still do not Posey scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on a particular date (not publicly, at least). But running and sliding are the last things on his rehab list. He's getting closer. Manager Bruce Bochy insinuated the other day that he could make his first game appearance by this weekend, though likely as a DH.
Posey estimated he ran "in the 60- to 70-percent range."
He also said when he is ready to play in a game, he'll be ready. Neither he nor the Giants are interested in slotting him into real competition with restraints, such as ordering him not to do certain things.
"When you're playing in a game, you've got to play the game," Posey said. "I feel like so much of my game is instincts, anyway ... when you're out there, instincts take over."
In a perfect world, Posey said, he would touch each base with his right foot as he circles them at full speed (he tore three ligaments in his left ankle and broke a bone in his lower left leg in the play at the plate against the Marlins last season). But it all depends where his stride is, he said, meaning he could touch a base with his left ankle, and that's where he's got to have both full healing and full confidence in the foot.
"I'm definitely itching to get into a game," he said. "At the same time, we're just four games in. Today's the fifth. I still think there's plenty of time."
Tuesday's running of the bases was the first for Posey in what he estimates is "a week to 10 days" in what has been an encouraging spring of work.
"Since the start of spring, I've been able to do all baseball activities," Posey said. "Catching, blocking, live batting practice, and everything's felt good.
"We knew from the time I was injured that running the bases would be the last thing to come, and [trainer Dave Groeschner] was right.
"I think we've been lucky. Everything has gone well."