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Brewers' Hart hoping for early return from injury

02/21/2013 7:44 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma

Corey Hart hit .270 with 30 home runs in 149 games during the 2012 season.(AP)
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart is wearing more than sunglasses at night these days. He's also sporting a huge brace on his right knee and crutches just a month after having surgery to repair the knee.

The All-Star needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus and clean up some other damage. However, to the delight of his manager Ron Roenicke, Hart thinks a return to the baseball diamond might be sooner rather than later.

''I'm going on that. If he comes back sooner than that, great,'' Roenicke said at Brewers camp, according to The Associated Press. ''He says he's a fast healer. I hope he is, but I think realistically we're looking somewhere later part of May.''

Hart even discussed the possibility of breaking into the Brewers' lineup by late April, which would be a month earlier than expected.

''I'm always pretty positive and I think that's not unrealistic to shoot for that kind of early of a comeback,'' Hart said Thursday. ''I still want to beat the odds and come back as fast as I can. I think that April 20 is early, but I don't think it's unrealistic.''

The two-time All-Star is scheduled to have another MRI in two weeks. He's currently not doing any rehabilitation, but at that point, he may be able to start.

''Once that's done, then I can get on it and get going as fast as my body lets me,'' Hart said. ''It's boring right now. I've pretty much done everything I can do up until that point. My legs are strong as they can get without doing other stuff.''

The 6-foot-6-inch right-hander hit .270 last season, with 30 home runs and 83 RBIs in 149 games. He was moved to first base after the regular first baseman, Mat Gamel, tore his ACL. Gamel has already suffered an ACL injury during Spring Training, which means Hart may have to man first base when he returns.

Roenicke said team doctors have told him Hart would be out four months -- meaning a late-May return -- but Hart has vowed to never surrender when it comes to rehab. Alright, enough of the bad Corey Hart song jokes.

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