TORONTO — Troy Tulowitzki continued to take steps in his recovery from a cracked left scapula Friday afternoon at Rogers Centre, fielding ground balls at shortstop and executing simulated double plays. Tulowitzki took a small amount of light swings off a tee during Thursday’s off day, but didn’t handle the bat at all on Friday.
Tulowitzki said Thursday and Friday’s work was encouraging, and that he was feeling as mobile and strong as he has since the injury.
"I felt great out there. Ground balls went well. I feel like I’m moving a lot better," Tulowitzki said. "I felt more like myself out there, more aggressive. I felt normal."
Tulowitzki has yet to have a follow-up MRI or CT Scan to gauge how well he’s healing, and, according to manager John Gibbons, there isn’t one planned. But Tulowitzki says the muscles around the injury—which were significantly bruised and sore after his collision with Kevin Pillar in centre field at Yankee Stadium nearly two weeks ago—are feeling better.
"The muscles are definitely getting softer and more pliable," Tulowitzki said. "It’s not as tight."
The 30-year-old shortstop has been busy performing lower-body cardio work as well as some flexibility and strengthening exercises with elastic bands in order to keep his upper body conditioned. He says he feels the injury the most when he’s lying in bed at night, and that swinging a bat with full effort will be the final true test of his ability to play.
"We have a plan with the trainers mapped out as far as what I do each day on the field. If I keep passing tests, then you go on to the next step," Tulowitzki said. "Being as active as I can helps out a lot."
Tulowitzki says there’s still no target date for when a return to the lineup could be possible. But with 10 games left in the regular season, time is obviously running out.
In an ideal situation, Tulowitzki would get some regular season game time in order to re-find his feet at the plate and reacclimatize himself to competition. But on Friday he said he’d be confident with his return to the field coming during the playoffs.
"It’s not important to me at all," Tulowitzki said of getting into regular season games. "It’s playoff baseball. You go out there and grind at-bats and play good defence and try to do anything you can to help your team win."