After missing time last season due to a cranky lower back, second baseman Neil Walker went at full speed Friday in the Pirates' first full-squad workout of spring training.
“His back is not an issue with where we stand today,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He's physically fit and ready for duty.”
Walker sat out 27 of the final 35 games due to a herniated disc. After consulting with a back specialist and rehabbing, Walker was cleared in mid-November to resume baseball activities. He trained this winter at the IMG facility in Bradenton and is following a maintenance program.
“I've had no setbacks as far as the baseball stuff and lifting weights and running,” Walker said. “It's still going to be a (matter of) move slowly at first (in camp) because it doesn't make sense to do it any other way.”
Walker reported no ill effects after fielding grounders and taking batting practice Friday. He does not expect to need restrictions or extra days off during the regular season.
“As long as I'm doing what I need to do with my exercises and keeping my muscles strong, there's no reason why this should ever be an issue again,” Walker said.
Walker’s back is back to normal
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Feb 16