TEMPE, Ariz. -- Recovering Angels slugger Kendrys Morales continues to run without any next-day swelling. After some more light sprinting in the outfield grass on Thursday, Morales reduced his workload on Friday -- instead running on the treadmill indoors -- and is now eyeing the next step in his recovery.
Next week, he's hoping to make cuts on the field in spikes.
Then, the week after that, he plans on running the basepaths -- the biggest hurdle in his recovery from a broken left ankle.
Manager Mike Scioscia doesn't see Morales getting into Spring Training games until "around the end of the second week of March if everything goes well and he keeps progressing."
"Again, all these windows we talk about are flexible as to how he feels," Scioscia clarified. "We lived this last year. ... But there's no comparison to the way he's bouncing back from his workouts and to how he's running with the same time last year. That's encouraging."
If Morales can get a good amount of at-bats this spring -- maybe in the 70 or 80 range -- Scioscia doesn't believe he'll need to start the season off on a rehab program in the Minors.
The preference would be to have Morales start the season in the big leagues if he's healthy -- perhaps initially batting him lower in the lineup so he can work out some kinks before making his way into the preferred cleanup spot behind Albert Pujols.
"The challenge is hitting Major League pitching, not Triple-A pitching," Scioscia said. "So if he's ready to go, you want him to meet that challenge and try to hit Major League pitching as quickly as he can."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.