LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Brian McCann understands that he is likely at least two months away from being cleared to play in a Major League game. But the Braves catcher was still encouraged with the update he received after his surgically repaired right shoulder was evaluated by the team's orthopedic surgeon Dr. Xavier Duralde on Saturday morning.
"They said everything is on schedule and that everything looks good," McCann said. "The strength looks good."
McCann will attempt to remain patient while going through a long rehab process that will likely keep him out of Atlanta's starting lineup for at least the first two weeks of the regular season. The six-time All-Star catcher was cleared on Saturday to begin hitting balls flipped by coaches or teammates who are positioned just a few feet away. He had been restricted to hitting off a tee over the past couple of weeks.
"Each day, I'm pushing it a little bit more," McCann said. "When I can throw a ball as hard as I can and wake up and not be sore, that will probably be my sign that I'm ready to play in a game."
McCann is slowly regaining arm strength. His throwing program moved him to a distance of 90 feet earlier this week. He completed one set of 15 throws on Tuesday and two sets of 15 on Thursday. He took it a step further by completing two sets of 25 on Saturday.