JUPITER -- Logan Morrison's first steps toward getting back into a Marlins uniform begin this morning.
The first baseman, who had a second surgery five months ago to repair a torn patella tendon in his right knee, will start running on a treadmill for the first time in eight months on Thursday. Doctors, Morrison said, don't want him hitting or doing any other baseball activities yet. Just the treadmill.
"It's not going to be like 20 minutes first time. It's going to be like a minute," said Morrison, who will wear an anti-gravity bubble below his waist to put less weight on the knee. "Probably just like a jog with half my body weight."
Morrison said the treadmill work will progress for about a month -- assuming there aren't any setbacks. His agent told The Miami Herald earlier this week the hope is Morrison will be game ready by April 15th. Morrison said Thursday that remains the hope.
"I just know I'm running today on the treadmill and then after that I don't know what's going on," Morrison said. "They don't want me hitting right now because if it does get sore they want to know what is making it sore."
Morrison said the opportunity to get fully healthy is exciting. He admits he tried to rush his way back on the field too early after the first surgery in Dec. 2011.
"It's not always about being the tough guy, the guy who is going to be out on the field. It's about being able to help your team. If you're not able to do that, why be out there?" Morrison said.
"It was painful and a mental grind just to get out of bed [last season]. To go and face major league pitching wasn't fun either. I think the first time you go through it you think you're bullet proof. 'Yeah, it hurts, but it will get better.' Or, 'Yeah it hurts, but I can still play through it, still help the team win.' I wanted to help the people out on my team, but it didn't work out well."