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Thursday, March 7
Kent aims to be ready by Opening Day

Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- San Francisco second baseman Jeff Kent sounded optimistic about returning to the Giants' lineup by opening day.

"My rehab history has been quick, so I think this prognosis is good for us," Kent said on Thursday upon his return to the Giants' training facility.

Kent left for the Bay Area on Sunday for tests on the broken bone in his left wrist, which revealed minor ligament damage. He returned to Arizona to begin rehab work with Giants trainer Stan Conte.

"Sometimes soft tissue damage can limit what you can do," said Kent, the NL MVP in 2000. "This gives us the motivation to work the area. We can do more than if the tissue damage was worse."

Kent, who said he injured the wrist in a fall while washing his truck last week, has been the subject of comic routines for San Francisco radio talk show hosts and in the print media.

"People are having fun with it, but it's not funny to me," said Kent, who turned 34 on Thursday. "It's odd. I can't play a game I love to play, and am paid to play. When you make fun of someone washing his truck, that's sad."

Kent reiterated that's he's just a regular guy despite a multimillion dollar contract, and still doesn't understand what all the fuss is about.

"I'm not like anybody else," said Kent. "I don't have maids or car wash guys or nannies. I clean my own clothes, I wear torn underwear and cheap socks. I'm cheap."

Meanwhile, Kent will be put on a daily regimen that includes running, throwing and one-arm swinging. His wrist will be re-examined every week to monitor his progress and reevaluate his rehab program.

"I'm still going to prepare myself for opening day physically," said Kent. "We have a chance to play good baseball this year and I want to be part of that."

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