Federowicz continues long road back from knee surgery

Federowicz continues long road back from knee surgery

SAN DIEGO -- Tim Federowicz never planned on pushing his way into the home clubhouse at Petco Park for the first time on Friday.

In an ideal world, the Padres' catcher would have done so before now, as he was expected to make the team as the backup to Derek Norris before knee surgery waylaid him last month.

"It's been tough," he said before the Padres opened a three-game series with the Dodgers. "I've been watching a lot of baseball. But hopefully, I'm going to come back stronger than I was before."

Federowicz had surgery on March 13 to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee, the result of what qualifies as a freak injury, as he shifted from his left knee to his right in his defensive stance in a Spring Training game and heard a pop.

"I did the same thing I've done for a long time, and it just crept up on me," Federowicz said.

Federowicz had his surgery at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, not knowing what to expect in terms of how much time he would miss until he woke up afterward, as the doctors were not certain of the severity until they started the surgery.

As it turns out, Federowicz got the worst diagnosis possible: A complete tear, with a 3-6 month recovery period.

"That was tough," he said.

Federowicz had two hits in five at-bats in Spring Training and showed well on defense before the injury.

"I was feeling great. I felt strong, my swing felt great. It's just unfortunate how everything turned out as early as it did," he said.

Federowicz has done his rehabilitation at the team's Spring Training facility in Arizona but will do some here while checking in with team doctors.

He said he's six weeks from starting to run and squat again, which will be followed by swinging the bat, throwing and, as Federowicz said, "getting back into baseball shape."

Federowicz was acquired with Matt Kemp in the Dec. 18 trade with the Dodgers that sent catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Joe Wieland to Los Angeles.

The injury allowed veteran Wil Nieves to make the team. Nieves has one hit in nine at-bats this season, though that hit was a grand slam against the Giants on April 12.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.