ST. PETERSBURG -- After his first at-bat in just his second rehab game for Triple-A Durham, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria removed himself because of discomfort in his left hamstring.
Longoria hasn't played since that game on June 18, but he is restarting his rehab process, which will include batting, fielding and running drills before playing in another rehab game.
"We're finally moving back forward again," Longoria said. "It wasn't like I thought -- it wasn't anything major. ... I've already missed enough time as it is, and I don't want my season to be over at this point by doing something stupid. That was the decision; it was my decision."
During the Rays' most recent road trip, Longoria said all he did was rest the hamstring. It wasn't until the team returned home that he put any stress on it.
He added that he is "not back to square one" and that he feels better now than at any point during the rehab.
The injury, a partial tear of his left hamstring, sidelined Longoria on April 30. The expected recovery period is typically six to eight weeks, and he said he may have tried to come back too quickly.
"When you approach that time, you expect it to be right," Longoria said. "It just wasn't. Again, I'm really happy with the way that it's been. I say that with 100 percent confidence."
There is currently no timetable for Longoria to return to the Rays, because he needs to repeat the process.
"[I need to] go through all of the steps I went through before I went out to rehab the first time," Longoria said. "From the way it feels now, those are going to go a lot quicker."
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he trusts his training staff, which he called the best in all of baseball. He said he wants to be patient with Longoria and not try to rush him back.
"Nobody's upset, let's just get him back," Maddon said. "We're only going to the World Series with him."
Longoria was hitting .329 with 19 RBIs in 23 games for Tampa Bay before getting hurt. The team is 25-28 in his absence.