Quentin managing pain, progressing

Quentin managing pain

CHICAGO -- There might not be a time during the 2009 regular season when Carlos Quentin finds himself pain-free and in left field for the White Sox, thanks to an ongoing bout with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Managing that pain will serve as the watchwords for the All-Star in regard to any sort of return. With that focus in mind, Quentin has been encouraged by the progress made during this past week.

Quentin ran the bases prior to Friday's Crosstown Showdown with the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field and added that he received a good test by going straight from running to hitting.

"I was a little winded, but it went well," Quentin told MLB.com. "Nothing spiked or elevated as far as the pain. It was kind of a dull ache, and that's what we expected, so we will go from there.

"Every day I'm trying to bring up the intensity a little bit. We are doing a lot of baseball stuff. We are looking to keep doing the baseball stuff. Today was the first time I really ran on the bases. That's a big test, itself. We are going to keep doing that and look to keep getting better as far as healing. That's been the case the past two or three days."

Along with the running and hitting, Quentin worked on taking drop steps in the outfield and also has tested his movement from side-to-side while taking ground balls. Quentin mentioned that a next step could be "power-shagging," where he goes full out after fly balls during batting practice.

This injury has bothered Quentin for most of the current campaign but officially took him down during a game in Anaheim on May 25, when Quentin felt a pop in his left foot while running out a first-inning double. It was a frustrating period for Quentin once he went on the disabled list, without much early progress made, but that situation has recently changed.

"With the changes in everyday waking up and activities, it's much more encouraging," Quentin said. "You asked me this 10 days earlier and I'm not as encouraged. I don't see any progress. You don't see any progress, you get concerned and start watching the time go by.

"I'm seeing, we are all seeing progress, being out there doing activities. That progress allows for a goal to be set and attained, and that goal is to be back on the field as soon as possible."

That return target does not have a date attached to it, as Quentin has consistently deferred to the organization when questions arise concerning potential Minor League rehab assignments. White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas and manager Ozzie Guillen were two of the interested bystanders during Quentin's morning workout.

Guillen's comments from his Friday afternoon media session also convey a bit more optimism than even at the start of this week.

"He feels better," said Guillen, whose team is 14-12 without Quentin in the lineup. "When he hit, he took a split-second to think about start running. He was limping. But he got better. At least he started running. At least he's starting baseball activity. That's a good scenario."

According to Quentin, the recovery now is not so much about the activities as it is about the intensity of activities. He listed himself as pushing at 75 percent, but he needs to get that level to 100 percent, at game speed, before the next step can be considered.

Even with the work and healing ahead of him, Quentin is encouraged. He isn't without pain, but that state might not play out until after the season.

"It's not getting any worse. It's not staying the same. I'm able to do more stuff actually and more activities," Quentin said. "I'm looking to not have to deal with that pain as much. There might be some residual pain, and I'm prepared for that, but we are looking for that residual to stay constant."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.