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Ryan Braun says he's making progress after back surgery

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun said he is making steady progress after offseason back surgery and hopes to be back at 100 percent when the regular season starts for the Milwaukee Brewers in a few months.

For now, Braun said he's about a couple of weeks behind from his typical offseason routine. He said Sunday at the team's winter fan event that he just started swinging a bat last week.

Brewers' pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Phoenix on Feb. 19, with the rest of the team due two days later.

"Oh, I won't be 100 percent at the start of spring training, no," Braun said. "I think it will kind of be a gradual process to work my way back to 100 percent. But I feel pretty good."

Braun is now an older player on a rebuilding team after a 94-loss season. On Saturday, the Brewers dealt shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher Tyler Wagner to Arizona for infielder Aaron Hill, starter Chase Anderson and an infield prospect.

At 32 and entering his 10th season in the majors, Braun seems to be embracing the youth movement in Milwaukee.

"It's an interesting time for us," Braun said. "But I think we have probably more potential young, impact players than we've had in a long time, probably since I've been part of the organization."

The Brewers' best player is also realistic.

"But in the near term, certainly a lot of change and continuing transition, I think," said Braun, who hit .285 with 25 homers and 84 RBIs last season.

At least Braun doesn't seem to be bothered by the nerve injury near the base of his right thumb that has hampered him the past couple years. He needed therapy to help with the thumb last year.

"We certainly anticipate that he's going to be healthy and ready to go to start the spring and start the season," Brewers general manager David Stearns said.