Tracy set to take ground balls

Tracy set to take ground balls

TEMPE, Ariz. -- He's getting close to taking ground balls on the field and maybe seeing some game action, but D-backs infielder Chad Tracy knows that the road ahead of him still poses plenty of challenges, mentally as well as physically.

"I'm just looking forward to one day being healthy," Tracy said.

Tracy underwent two surgeries at the same time on his right knee last September, a lateral release procedure as well as microfracture surgery. The result is a knee that is healthier, but one that has been redone in so many ways that there's a learning process his body has to undergo.

"It changed the whole dynamic of my knee," Tracy said. "The muscles around the knee, the ligaments, they have to adjust to it and relearn certain things, and I have to stay on top of all of it."

A blood clot below the knee forced him onto blood thinners for nearly four months, but he stopped taking them Friday and will need to wait four days before taking ground balls or getting into a game.

"I'm not going to go out and take 100 ground balls on the first day," Tracy said. "But 10 to 15 or something like that would be nice."

The odds of being ready for opening day certainly aren't good, but as to when he will return, no one knows for sure.

"There's no way to know," Tracy said. "I just have to keep working, keep doing what I'm doing. It's definitely a challenge mentally."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.