Posey ramps up running in prep for camp

Posey ramps up running in prep for camp

SAN FRANCISCO -- Following the schedule the Giants prescribed, catcher Buster Posey has added running to his workout regimen as he continues efforts to heal his left leg in time for the 2012 season.

Head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said Monday that Posey mixed 30- and 60-yard sprints, agility drills and mild distance running into his routine three times per week after the new year began. Posey sustained torn ligaments in his ankle and a fractured bone in his lower leg in a home-plate collision with Florida's Scott Cousins last May 25.

The injuries limited Posey to 45 games and ended his season. The Giants are counting on the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year to return healthy and, in doing so, help rouse the team's somnolent offense. Posey had a 13-game hitting streak when he was sidelined.

Running is not a new activity for Posey. He did some running after he could bear weight on the leg last year.

"We're just building him up right now. So far, so good," Groeschner said.

But with Giants pitchers and catchers due to report to camp at Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 18, a sense of purpose accompanies Posey's footwork.

"Part of it is rehab for his ankle and part of it is normal conditioning to get ready for the season," Groeschner said. "He has been lifting [lower-body weights], but he has to run to get his legs functionally strong."

Groeschner said that Giants physical therapist Tony Reale visited Posey late last week at his Leesburg, Ga., home to monitor the 24-year-old's progress.

"For Jan. 9, he's doing pretty well," Groeschner said.

Groeschner noted that Posey will incorporate more baseball-specific elements in his running, such as turning corners to simulate rounding bases, as February begins. Posey has resumed hitting off a tee three times per week and is expected to graduate to soft-toss hitting before advancing to actual batting practice.

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