PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Jason Kendall ran on his badly dislocated right ankle this week for the first time since July, a major step in his recovery.
``Everything’s going very good,″ said Kendall during a stop Thursday in Pittsburgh for a scheduled checkup on the ankle. ``I mean, I never dislocated my ankle before, so I don’t know how it’s supposed to be, but it’s as good as it can be. I’m fine.″
Kendall was carried off the field on a stretcher in a July 4 against Milwaukee after injuring the ankle when he stumbled over first base trying to beat out a bunt.
At the time, Kendall was batting .332 with eight homers and 41 RBIs and appeared to be certain of his third All-Star game appearance in four seasons.
``I won’t ever bunt again,″ Kendall joked Thursday. ``I’m hitting jacks now.″
When he took his first running strides Monday, Kendall said he wasn’t thinking about the injury.
``That’s behind me,″ he said. ``It happened. It’s over with. ... I honestly felt like I haven’t missed a beat. I felt powerful. I was sore, but it was a good sore.″
Kendall said he has also been practicing his catcher’s stance in addition to a daily rehabilitation routine that begins at 8:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until 5 p.m.
``I don’t want to ever get hurt again,″ he said. ``It’s not fun. It’s work. But I knew it was going to be hard.″
Kendall’s next big test comes Dec. 1, when he begins hitting and throwing. Spring training, he said, seems ``like a billion years″ away.
``I wish it started tomorrow,″ he said.