Martin takes live batting practice

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin took a significant step in his rehabilitation from a right groin injury, taking live batting practice for the first time on Sunday against a pair of minor-league pitchers.

The original prognosis, which trainer Stan Conte admits was a rough estimate, was for Martin to miss four to six weeks after he initially suffered the injury on March 6. There is still a possibility he could be ready for the April 5 season opener.

Conte said Martin is about 80 percent healthy right now, but added it is impossible to predict how quickly the other 20 percent will come. The other part of the equation is that when Martin is healthy enough for game action, depending on when that is, he might need several games in either the Cactus League or in the minor-league regular season before he is ready to return to the Dodgers' lineup.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.