Full speed will be test for Soriano's knee

February, 22, 2010
[+] EnlargeAlfonso Soriano
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastAlfonso Soriano played in just 117 games last season, batting .241 with 20 home runs and 55 runs batted in.

Alfonso Soriano's surgically-repaired left knee may be the Chicago Cubs' early camp storyline this spring. Soriano had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last September and was told by team doctors at that time that realistically within eight weeks he should be near 100 percent.

As the Cubs leftfielder entered camp Monday, he admitted that he hasn't tried to go full throttle yet in his running programs this winter.

"I don't feel 100 percent because I'm not running 100 percent," Soriano said on Monday. "I'm just running 75 to 80 percent, and I don't feel nothing that hurts. When I start running 100 percent I want to know how it feels."

By Soriano's comments, it was difficult to determine if he was saying he he hasn't gone beyond trying to run at better than an 80-percent clip or that his knees had not fully recovered.

"That's the question that I don't know," Soriano said. "I haven't been running for what, four months? So I don't know what's going to go on when I push my knee a little more."

In Soriano's opening remarks, he seemed to define his readiness to test the knee.

"They told me the operation was nothing," Soriano said. "The more import thing is that it recovers. I've been working hard in the Dominican and still don't feel 100 percent with my knee."

The Cubs veteran outfielder said most of his rehabilitation and training in the offseason was geared around strengthening the knee rather than running. Soriano had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Sept. 15, 2009, ending his season.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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