M’s closer Aardsma is looking ahead to days without crutches

When you’re a star major league closer, doors open for you.

That’s the way it was for right-hander David Aardsma a few minutes ago when he arrived at spring training and fellow pitcher Garrett Olson held open the door to the clubhouse. Of course, Aardsma needs a little assistance

getting around these days because he’s still on crutches after having surgery on his left hip in early January.

If everything goes as planned, Aardsma won’t need those crutches a whole lot longer. He saw Dr. Marc Philippon last week in Vail, Colo., and said he’s recovering well from the surgery to repair a torn labrum in the hip. The best estimate is that he’ll miss at least the first two weeks of the regular season.

“Next week I’ll start the process of walking, and once I can put my full weight on my leg I can start throwing,” Aardsma said. “By that, I mean really throwing, not sitting on a chair. Then a couple of weeks after that, I can start letting it go. The big thing is putting all my weight on my leg.”

Aardsma hasn’t thrown as much from a chair as planned because, well, he was throwing a baseball while sitting in a chair.

“I learned really quickly that you change your arm when you’re sitting on a chair,” he said. “There’s going to be a couple of weeks before I can really let it go anyway, and if I can’t learn to throw in a couple of weeks I’m in the wrong profession. I don’t know the official timetable, but on Wednesday I can start attempting to walk. Once I’m full weight-bearing, I can start throwing, then (it will be ) two weeks until I really get after it. From there it’s all feel. How does my body feel? The trainers and (manager Eric) Wedge have been very adamant about making sure I’m healthy and don’t push it. They say, ‘We want you for the last five months, not that first month and getting hurt.’”

Aardsma said he’s in good shape overall.

“I think I’m in better shape and stronger than I ever have been,” he said. “I can do the bike every day without resistance and I do pool work every day. Conditioning-wise, I’ve lost 10 pounds and I’m in great shape. I can do leg strengthening things but I can’t do push-off stuff. I can do hamstring curls, quad stuff, interior and exterior stuff, and I’m doing full upper-body workouts.”

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