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Pujols unlikely to play in games before mid-March


TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, may not be getting into Spring Training games until mid-March.

The Angels don't believe he needs to do so any sooner than that in order to be ready by Opening Day on April 1.

Pujols, who had the procedure done early in the offseason, showed up to Spring Training a couple days before he was scheduled to and has been taking batting practice ever since. The 33-year-old has also been taking ground balls hit right to him, jogging on a treadmill and doing bunt defense, but he is playing it safe and isn't sure when he'll start running full speed.

"We'll see where he is week to week," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters on Wednesday. "Right now he feels really good targeting Opening Day being ready. If he's playing by mid-March, he's fine. That's probably the back end of what he needs. I think if he's ready sooner, fine, we can work him in. I think he's approaching it the way he needs to."

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