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Kendry Morales ahead of schedule in rehab from broken leg

September 21, 2010 |  5:52 pm

Kendry Morales is "a little bit ahead of schedule" in his rehabilitation from a fracture in his lower left leg, and the Angels first basemen, who went down with the season-ending injury on May 29, expects a full recovery for 2011.

"There is no reason to doubt or be preoccupied with not coming back 100%," Morales, speaking through a translator, said Tuesday in his first public comments since the freak injury, which he suffered jumping into home plate after a walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners. "The doctors said everything went well, and they see nothing but good things ahead."

Morales, who hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in last season and was hitting .290 with a team-leading 11 homers and 39 RBIs when he got hurt, spent two months on crutches. He is walking without a limp and undergoing physical therapy six times a week in Orange County, but he is several weeks away from jogging or any baseball activities.

The switch-hitter has watched several replays of the injury.

"I don't remember much," he said. "I remember jumping, hitting the ground, looking at my foot and feeling I had broken it. ... I got caught up in the emotion of the game. I think, 'What would have happened if I didn't jump?' It was an accident. It happened. What are you going to do?"

The Angels went 20-8 in the 28 games following Morales' injury, but they couldn't compensate for the four-month loss of the slugger--the team's offensive struggles are the primary reason the Angels will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

"We talk about Kendry coming back next season," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's the biggest free-agent signing you could make in an off-season."

For more on Morales later this evening, go to www.latimes.com/sports.

--Mike DiGiovanna

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