Royals

Royals’ Alex Gordon tries to stay patient during rehab process

Injured Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (pictured playing catch Friday at Kauffman Stadium) is progressing well as he recovers from a grade two-plus groin strain, but the rehab process is a still mostly about patience, he said Sunday before the Royals’ series finale against the Houston Astros.
Injured Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (pictured playing catch Friday at Kauffman Stadium) is progressing well as he recovers from a grade two-plus groin strain, but the rehab process is a still mostly about patience, he said Sunday before the Royals’ series finale against the Houston Astros. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Alex Gordon said his return to the field remains “five or six weeks away” before the Royals’ series finale Sunday against the Houston Astros.

Gordon said he expects to start hitting off a tee during the Royals’’ next road trip, and already resumed throwing late last week.

“I don’t know what the progression is, because I’ve never done this before,” Gordon said. “But I feel good at this point.”

Gordon suffered a grade two-plus groin strain in his left leg July 9 while trying to chase down a fly ball near the wall in left-center field.

He said the first step toward swinging a bat again will be to begin some light jogging on the road trip then move from the tee to soft toss.

“Just to start loosening up,” Gordon said, “and start taking baby steps to where I need to be to get back on the field.”

Although Gordon feels he could be further along in the recovery process, he said he’s trusting the team’s trainers and taking it slow.

“I’m listening to them 100 percent,” Gordon said. “They’re being cautious about it, which we should be.”

Gordon added he learned that lesson earlier in his career when he came back to quickly after his hip surgery to repair a torn right labrum in 2009.

He has been walking around the clubhouse without the aid of crutches since the day after the injury, saying he used the crutches for a total of 12 hours.

Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon discusses his progress toward returning to the lineup.

Yost happy for Smoltz

John Smoltz, a member of the Braves teams Royals manager Ned Yost coached from 1991-2002, was enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Yost served as a bullpen and third-base coach during his time in Atlanta.

The Braves won the National League East in each of Yost’s seasons there, including a World Series title in 1995, with Smoltz as a key contributor.

Smoltz, who played in Atlanta from 1988-2008, won 213 games and saved 154 more in his career.

“He’s a great guy,” Yost said. “Tremendous competitor.”

Smoltz’s competitiveness made him so successful, Yost said, and added he could never beat Smoltz at anything.

Yost’s biggest regret is the time he had Smoltz on the ropes in a game of P-I-G.

“That would’ve been the highlight of my life because I would’ve never let him live it down,” Yost said, “Then I choked.”

“You can’t beat him in anything. You can’t beat him in basketball, you can’t beat him in ping-pong, you can’t beat him in golf.”

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost talks about pitcher Yordano Ventura, playing the infield shift and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz.

To reach Chris Bumbaca, send email to cbumbaca@kcstar.com.

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