PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Ken Griffey Jr.'s first spring training game in his return to the Seattle Mariners won't come until Wednesday against Australia's national team.
Manager Don Wakamatsu said Thursday that the 39-year-old looks great, four months after arthroscopic left knee surgery. But the rookie manager wants to ease the active home runs leader back into action.
Griffey is taking batting practice and participating in daily outfield drills. The Mariners plan to use him initially as a designated hitter and probably not in consecutive games.
He hopes to be ready to play left field by the April 6 opener at Minnesota.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)