Freese anxious to get back in Cards' lineup

Freese anxious to get back in Cards' lineup

Freese anxious to get back in Cards' lineup
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis third baseman David Freese took batting practice on the field Friday afternoon as he continues to try to work his way back from a right ankle injury.

Freese rolled the ankle on Monday in an indoor batting cage prior to the Cardinals' game in Houston. He missed all three games in the series and was hoping to return to the lineup sometime this weekend.

The MVP of the 2011 World Series was not in the starting lineup Friday in the first game of a three-game set with Washington.

Still, he is confident that he will be back in the next few days after resuming full baseball activities Friday for the first time since the accident.

"Every day gets better," Freese said. "It's tender, but I've got it taped up."

Freese, who has had two ankle surgeries in his career, arrived at Busch Stadium earlier than usual Friday to test the progress of his ankle.

"I took grounders and ran around a little bit," he added. "We'll see how it feels.

Freese, who has eight hits in his last 24 at-bats, did not appear to be favoring the ankle during drills. He drove several balls hard in batting practice.

"Whenever I'm ready, I'll be out there," he said. "It's frustrating whether it's now or April. But it is what it is. It could've been a lot worse. But I'll be out there soon enough."

While Freese is confident about his return, manager Mike Matheny remains cautious.

"He's still not there," Matheny said. "I just don't want to give a timeline. We'll just see how he does each day."

Freese is anxious to return. He says the clock is ticking with the regular season ending on Wednesday.

"I'm trying to push it," he said. "We don't have much time left."

Matt Carpenter has replaced Freese at third. Carpenter entered Friday with has six homers and 44 RBIs.