Drew takes a positive step … sideways

Feb. 23, 2012

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew still

has a long way to go in his ankle rehab, but he took a nice step

Thursday by moving laterally while fielding ground balls.

Drew

took grounders Monday at Salt River Fields for the first time since

fracturing his right ankle last July. In that session, though, he didn’t

move side to side as he did on Thursday.

“It’s coming along

well, a little better than what I thought overall,” Drew said. “Lateral

(movement), like everything, is still going to need improvement.”

After

taking Wednesday off to recover from workouts Monday and Tuesday, Drew

said he felt more capable during Thursday’s session.

“The first

few days were kind of getting into it,” Drew said. “Today I felt like I

had a little more hop to my step, which was a good thing. If that

happens every day, it’s going to be a good thing.”

Drew said it’s

still harder to go left, but he’s happy to be past the painful part of

the healing process and working to regain strength in the ankle. D-backs

manager Kirk Gibson has been encouraged by Drew’s recovery thus far,

but has also been careful to quell overly optimistic expectations.

“He’s

far from being able to play in a game,” Gibson said. “We half-worried

that he would be really hobbled at this point, but he’s worked very

hard. … He’s in great shape physically, and his mind is in a good spot.

“We’re encouraged by where he’s at, no question.”

— Tyler Lockman