"I can't go out there and be a huge liability. I'm basically just waiting for my body to do what it's supposed to do."
2010 Spring Training - null
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
He is healing, Hart said. He's simply healing slowly.
"At first they said [he would miss] two weeks; now I hope it's not a month," said Hart, who was hurt in a throwing drill Feb. 26 when he didn't set his feet properly and tweaked his oblique, the large muscle along the rib cage.
Hart turns 29 on March 24 and had previously targeted that date to be back at full strength and getting ready for the team's March 31 season opener in Cincinnati. There is still the possibility he will hit that target but would need to make significant progress in the coming days to get there.
And even if he does hit that target, Hart would have only one week of spring games to prepare for the season.
"That's not a lot of at-bats," Roenicke said. "We'll have to talk with him and see how he feels. Some guys need a lot of at-bats. I'm not familiar with what he's comfortable with. I don't know if he's comfortable with 15 at-bats and start the season."
Last spring, Hart was never comfortable at all. He was 11-for-64 (.172) in Cactus League games and bumped from the Opening Day lineup by veteran Jim Edmonds. Hart eventually won back that job, was voted by his peers to the National League All-Star team and signed a three-year contract extension.
There's another question in the back of Roenicke's mind this spring -- why have the Brewers been so bitten by injuries? Many have been of the fluke variety, like left fielder Ryan Braun slamming into the outfield wall during batting practice, Zack Greinke cracking a rib playing basketball, Chris Dickerson crashing into Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval and prospect Logan Schafer breaking his thumb sliding into second.
But then there's Hart's oblique and a slew of players with "stiffness" -- Rickie Weeks' groin, Yuniesky Betancourt's quadriceps and Carlos Gomez's and Manny Parra's backs. The Brewers have one of baseball's most respected and decorated athletic training staffs, but it's nonetheless been a tough first Spring Training for the club's new skipper.
"I think you do have to go back and look at what's going on," Roenicke said. "Talking [ground balls] and having Corey throw a ball and have a [rib-cage injury], that's really rare. I can't remember that happening to someone. It's almost always a swing. That's kind of weird."
Hart spent the winter putting on muscle weight and reported to camp saying he was stronger than ever. Now he's doing cardio work "like crazy," trying to stay in physical shape while he waits for the soreness to subside, but was held out of baseball activity on Wednesday.
It was a very unwanted day off.
"I'm just relaxing today," a dejected Hart said. "I don't want to over-kill it."