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Derrek Lee takes batting practice for first time since thumb surgery

Feb 26, 2011, 9:57 AM EDT

Derrek Lee Orioles

Derrek Lee took live batting practice yesterday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb in November, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

“A lot of nerves,” Lee said. “I’ve never had surgery. I didn’t know how it was going to respond. I was a little anxious about it. I got a lot of work to do, but it’s a good first step.”

Lee initially planned to take some swings today if he felt well enough, but Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports this morning that he’ll take the day off because his surgically-repaired thumb felt “a little bit tender.” The veteran first baseman downplayed the situation, saying that it was “probably as expected” and that they were simply being “overly cautious.” He’ll try to take batting practice again tomorrow.

As for when Lee will make his first appearance in an exhibition game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter has already ruled him out for the first week of the Grapefruit League schedule.

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