Pujols certain he’ll be ready by Opening Day …
Albert Pujols, still methodically working his way back from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, is adamant about being ready to go by April 1 in Cincinnati.
Asked how many Spring Training games he needs to be ready by Opening Day, the Angels’ high-priced first baseman said: “None. As long as my body feels good, I’m ready to go.”
” I’ve got 8,000 at-bats in the big leagues,” he responded. “I think Ive got plenty.”
Pujols continues to hit — he’s been doing that since showing up a couple days before the club’s first full squad workout — and has been lightly taking ground balls on the field while working out in the treadmill. But Pujols, who ran 13 minutes on the treadmill “at a good pace” on Friday morning, isn’t sure when he’ll run on the field just yet.
That remains the final step.
“I’m just following the program,” Pujols said.
That program has Pujols playing in games by mid-March, which the Angels feel is plenty of time to get him ready by Opening Day — even though they’ll be playing under National League rules.
“Pretty much if the season started tomorrow, I’d be out there playing,” Pujols said. “But there is no reason for me to go out and play when we have five more weeks before Opening Day. We’re being cautious about it because we have five weeks before Opening Day.
“I had surgery in the past and I had my best year. I don’t worry about it. As long as I’m healthy, I’ll do whatever I have to do.”