Stanton does light drills after seeing specialist

Stanton does light drills after seeing specialist

NEW YORK -- Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was examined by a specialist on Monday, and later in the day he did some light running and agility drills before his team took batting practice at Citi Field.

Stanton has been doing some light jogging for a couple of days, which is an encouraging first step in his rehabilitation. The slugger is striving to return later this year, and the club insists his timetable remains, at best, the final week of the season. Stanton sustained a Grade 3 left groin strain on Aug. 13 and went on the disabled list the next day. He started light jogging on Saturday during warmups at Marlins Park.

"I'm getting stronger every day, more mobility," Stanton said. "Doing what I can."

The Marlins opened a four-game series with the Mets at Citi Field on Monday, and Stanton did some drills with the team trainers. After seeing the specialist in New York, Stanton said he will be returning to Miami on Tuesday, where he will continue his rehab program.

When Stanton was injured, the fear was he would miss the remainder of the season. But he's shown improvement, and the club is no longer ruling out a possible return.

Even though his rehab has been encouraging, Stanton said the true tests will be the quick starts and stops in the outfield or getting out of the batter's box.

With rosters expanding on Thursday, Stanton could be used in a number of roles down the stretch. Although his batting average is just .244, he has 25 home runs and 70 RBIs in 103 games. Even if he is just a pinch-hitter for a couple of games, he could be a threat.

"What we've heard, since after the week or 10 days, is that there is a possibility within the last week," manager Don Mattingly said. "So, obviously, that's still a ways away, but it's still a possibility."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.