Hart ‘way ahead of schedule’

Brewers right fielder Corey Hart had such a hop in his step Saturday morning, you’d hardly know he was less than two weeks removed from knee surgery.

“I’m way ahead of schedule,” he said.

Hart underwent arthroscopic surgery on March 6 to repair three tears to cartilage in his right knee. That was a Tuesday; he was back at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday on crutches. By that Friday, he was down to one crutch. By Sunday, he was walking without crutches.

One week post-surgery, on Tuesday, March 13, Hart told athletic trainers he felt ready to begin running, and they held him off until Thursday, when he ran on a treadmill for the first time. On Friday, he had the stitches removed from three small entry points around his kneecap. He also hit off a tee for the first time and threw on the field.

On Saturday morning, he was feeling “great.” Hart said it’s too early to set a more firm timetable — he still faces a very narrow window to be ready for the Brewers’ April 6 season opener.

“It really depends on how fast I can get comfortable with baseball stuff,” Hart said. “Running on the treadmill is a lot different than running on the field. But I just had my stitches out yesterday, and I’m already doing a lot more than I thought I would be.”

Hart’s speedy recovery doesn’t surprise second baseman Rickie Weeks, who had a similar procedure after the 2008 postseason and walked out of surgery.

“It’s really not a bad surgery,” Weeks said. “I’m not surprised at all to see him doing so good.”

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