TORONTO -- Howie Kendrick was on the outfield turf at Rogers Centre early Thursday afternoon, sprinting about 90 feet as if running from first to second on a steal attempt, then walking back and doing it again.
The Angels second baseman, sidelined since April 14 by a strained right hamstring, came away from the workout feeling, as he put it, "much better than the last time I ran. Today's the first day, but it's a big step."
How the leg feels on Friday, when the Angels alight in Chicago for a three-game weekend series, will tell even more about where Kendrick stands in his effort to get back on the field for the American League West-leading Halos.
"Last week after I ran, I'd be sitting around and my leg would get real sore in that [hamstring] area," Kendrick said. "Today I didn't feel anything. I'll see how it is tomorrow. I want to repeat it a couple days, and hopefully, everything will stay good."
Kendrick, a .500 hitter for the Angels this season in 36 at-bats, has been hitting regularly and said it doesn't bother his leg.
"Howie feels much better," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's going to get in baseball activities. He's moving forward with hitting, then taking ground balls."
There is still no timetable for Kendrick's return, but this was the first encouraging news since he aggravated the hamstring running the bases in a rehab assignment at Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 6.
Earlier in the game, Kendrick hit a pair of homers and didn't have to run hard. But when he singled, stole second and popped up to go to third on an errant throw, that's when he felt a tug on the hamstring -- and shut it down.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.