"He was really good today," Gonzalez said. "I'm glad he's getting better every day."
Heyward underwent an emergency appendectomy on April 22 and hasn't played since. Some players receive an appendectomy and miss a week or two; others are out a month or longer.
Gonzalez is in no hurry to rush Heyward back.
"For him just to miss a couple of weeks or a month is probably right in the realm of the right time," Gonzalez said. "I know there's been a couple of guys who have [missed] eight, nine, 10 days, but for the most part, it takes a lot [of time]. You don't know how it affects everybody."
Gonzalez would know. He had to have an emergency appendectomy when he was 5. He was taken to the doctor for what was believed to be a stomach ache and wound up having the appendectomy that day at Miami Children's Hospital.
"I spent 15 days in intensive care with needles [everywhere]," Gonzalez recalled. "They had me tied down to the bed, because when you're 5, you start pulling at stuff."
Gonzalez still has a scar from the operation.
The 23-year-old Heyward hit .269 with 27 homers and 21 steals last season. This year, he is hitting .121 with two home runs, five RBIs and one steal in 17 games.
Tony Meale is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.