Dodgers' Justin Turner optimistic he'll be '100 percent' for Opening Day
If all goes according to plan, third baseman Justin Turner won't just be ready to take the field with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day but will have made a full recovery from knee surgery by then.
The 31-year-old infielder currently is recovering from a microfracture surgery he underwent on his left knee in October to try to repair damaged cartilage in the injured knee.
With two months remaining until the Dodgers open the 2016 season with a three-game series in San Diego against the Padres, Turner has set his sights on being completely ready to go in April without any setbacks during the season.
"My game plan is not just to be ready Opening Day, but to be 100 percent in baseball shape for Opening Day," Turner told MLB.com at a charity golf tournament he hosted on Monday. "I'm hoping it's fixed, that when I get to 100 percent it's in the rear-view mirror and I won't have to worry about it. I hope it feels like a brand-new knee once I get to 100 percent. My goal is to be available and ready to play every single day."
Turner has exceeded all expectations after joining the Dodgers on a minor-league contract before the 2014 season. He is now entering his second season as Los Angeles' starting third baseman.
In his two years with the Dodgers, Turner has hit .314/.384/.492 with 23 home runs and 103 RBI in 205 games, asserting himself as one of the club's most consistent hitters.
He's slated for another productive season for the Dodgers in 2016, as he is hopeful his surgery will allow to him to play more often and pain-free.
According to MLB.com, Turner has been hitting over the past two weeks and began running last week with no complications.
"There was no pain or discomfort when I ran," he said, "but the thing I'm most happy about was that I woke up next day and the knee felt really good."