Zack Cozart is nearly nine months removed from undergoing season-ending knee surgery, and the Cincinnati Reds shortstop is close to returning to full strength in spring training.
Continue for updates.
Latest on Cozart's Playing Status
Tuesday, March 8
Manager Bryan Price confirmed that Cozart is on track to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday, per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Price Comments on Cozart's Timeline for Recovery
Sunday, March 6
"I would say it would be reasonable in the next five or six days, I would think he would be very close," he said. "I don't think we're in jeopardy of him not being ready for Opening Day. But he's still got to go out there and play, and he's got to respond well to playing on a regular basis before we can know that for sure."
Cozart Comments on Recovery
Sunday, March 6
Given the grind and length of spring training, Cozart is fine with taking a cautious approach, per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“We always go back that there’s no point in playing on March 4. April 4 is my goal to be 100 percent,” Cozart said. “That’s not to say I won’t be 100 percent playing in games in three, four days. We’ll see. There’s a good progression going.”
Cozart will likely keep the knee brace he's worn during workouts and batting practice at the start of the regular season, per Sheldon.
Cozart Looking to Improve upon Career Season in '15
The five-year veteran was on pace for a career year when he suffered ACL and LCL tears in his right knee June 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies, as MLB.com showed:
Cozart was hitting a career-high .258 with nine home runs, 28 RBI and a 2.0 WAR mark.
Eugenio Suarez filled in for the rest of the season, hitting .280, which was the fourth-best mark on the team. Suarez will likely move to third base when Cozart assumes his role at shortstop.
All indications show that Cozart is healthy and ready to take the field again. Price isn’t a closed book with the media, but he generally keeps injury disclosures close to his chest. Not clarifying a specific return date isn’t a major surprise, and Cozart should get game reps soon.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.