Moss ahead of schedule in recovery from hip surgery

Tribe outfielder could be cleared for game action earlier than mid-March

Moss ahead of schedule in recovery from hip surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brandon Moss has cleared every hurdle he has faced through the early portion of Spring Training, putting the Indians outfielder on pace to potentially appear in a Cactus League game sooner than originally expected.

Tribe manager Terry Francona noted on Tuesday that Moss -- coming back from October hip surgery -- ran the bases with no issues during Monday's workout. Cleveland initially projected that Moss might be cleared for game action by mid-March, but Francona said that step could come earlier in the preseason schedule.

"He's streaking along, actually. It's hard to slow him down," Francona said. "He's passing every test they give him. ... He's coming quick. I don't know the date he'll be in a game, but surprisingly, it's not going to be really far off. He's doing a really good job."

The Indians acquired the 31-year-old Moss from the A's on Dec. 8 in exchange for Minor League infielder Joe Wendle, adding an impact bat for the heart of Cleveland's lineup. Last season, Moss hit just .234 in 147 games, but he belted 25 home runs and collected 81 RBIs while battling persistent problems with his right hip throughout the year.

Moss has bounced back well so far this spring and Francona has been impressed with how he has acclimated himself to his new surroundings.

"He's a great kid," Francona said. "He fits in perfect here. He's versatile and he's a great teammate. That's very welcome."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.