Hart gets good news from MRI scan

Brewers first baseman Corey Hart was cleared to begin intensifying his rehabilitation from right knee surgery after an MRI scan on Friday showed sufficient healing in the joint.

Manager Ron Roenicke said the club would continue to operate under the original four-month timetable for Hart’s return, a path that would put him back in the Brewers’ lineup in late May.

“If he heals faster, great,” Roenicke said.

Hart had surgery on Jan. 25 to repair torn cartilage and debride an imperfection in the knee joint, a process in which the surgeon induces bleeding to promote the bone to heal. Friday’s MRI scan was intended to examine whether the depression in Hart’s knee had filled in.

Even with this bit of good news, Hart is still some weeks away from baseball activity.

“They liked what they saw. Corey is off crutches and can drive again, so he’s a happy camper,” Roenicke said.

Roenicke also received a positive report Friday from the team’s other injured first baseman, Mat Gamel, who underwent successful surgery earlier in the day for a torn ACL. Gamelhad a similar procedure last May and missed the final five months of the season, and will miss all of 2013.

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