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Floyd looking forward to return

Floyd feeling fine, looking forward to return

ST. PETERSBURG -- Cliff Floyd is feeling better. The look on his face says it all.

"If I had my choice, I'd be trying to get out there," Floyd said. "It's just a matter of trying to get my feet under me now."

Floyd was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 9 (retroactive to April 7) and underwent surgery on his right knee.

"Everything is good, we've been hammering it pretty well," he said. "We've actually started doing two-a-days, like football drills. So we're going to try to get this thing going, hopefully by the time [the team gets] back from the road trip."

The Rays go on the road on Tuesday to open a three-city, nine-game trip, beginning in Baltimore before stops in Boston and Toronto. They return to Tropicana Field on May 9 to begin a series against the Angels.

Floyd is "doing really well," manager Joe Maddon said. "We're starting to put a schedule together for him to get him back out and about. I think by the end of this month, he's going to be able to participate in some games."

Those would likely be extended spring games, beginning next week.

Floyd marveled at how quickly he has been able to come back from a torn meniscus in his knee.

"It's amazing, technology today," he said. "[I had surgery] two weeks ago today, and I'm hitting, running and riding the bike. If I'm not back real, real soon, I must have had a setback. Everything is on schedule right now to get back out there."

Floyd, 35, has had plenty of surgeries, and the veteran outfielder/DH said the only difference now is that he's "a little bit older."

"I think the only problem I had with this one that I didn't have before was I had a little piece of cartilage floating around in there," he said. "It was under my kneecap. Any time you have that, you have to really strengthen the quad and everything about it to make sure the stability comes back. It shouldn't hold me back from starting the rehab."

While on the shelf, Floyd has kept up with his teammates.

"We've got a good mix going on, a good bunch of guys," he said. "Everybody is jelling together like I thought we would in Spring Training. You can kind of see the bats coming around and the pitching coming around. Of course, watching it on TV, I'm kind of an analyst. You get a chance to see what you've really got when you're not out there."

Floyd is impressed with the Rays' talent and said that the only thing they need to do is start believing in their abilities. Nevertheless, he thinks .500 is a good place for the team given the circumstances.

"When you've got eight guys on the DL, to be 11-11, you'll take that," he said.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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