Tempe, Ariz. — Kendrys Morales was scheduled to run on the infield dirt without touching any bases Monday, the first test in what is expected to be an important week for the Angels slugger who is recovering from a broken left ankle.
If Morales, who has missed the past year and a half, passes Monday's test, he will start running the bases by the middle of the week. The next step after that would be sliding drills, which will probably be first performed on the outfield grass with Morales wearing only socks, no spikes.
If he experiences no setbacks, Morales, who in 2009 hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in, could start playing exhibition games by the middle of next week. The ultimate goal is to get Morales into the cleanup spot behind No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols.
"He has some important hurdles this week," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "You have to be able to run at a certain level to play this game. You have to break out of the batter's box and keep a degree of comfort in the ankle to where he can swing the bat. Those hurdles have not been crossed yet."