Aybar takes part in pregame drills, eyes return from DL

Aybar takes part in pregame drills, eyes return from DL

ANAHEIM -- Angels shortstop Erick Aybar ran on the field for the first time on Monday and is eyeing a return to the lineup as early as Thursday, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

"We're going to keep working," said Aybar, out since April 9 with a left heel contusion. "The bruise is going to be there. I have to try to play through it. Any time you step, it's going to be bothering you. But the good thing is I ran today."

Aybar, reduced to aqua therapy in Arizona early last week, did some wind sprints and agility drills prior to the start of a three-game series against the Rangers at Angel Stadium.

The heel, he said, is "still bothering me a little bit," but it's manageable. One thing the switch-hitter still can't do is bat from the right side because the injury is on his landing foot. But he's just fine from the left side of the plate, and the Angels will face only right-handed starters in their upcoming four-game series in Seattle.

Now that Mike Trout bats second, Aybar figures to lead off upon returning to the lineup -- though Peter Bourjos has performed well there of late.

More than anything, he's just antsy to return.

"I don't like to sit," Aybar said. "I want to help my team win."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.