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Corey Hart hopes to return from knee surgery by the end of April

Feb 1, 2013, 8:16 PM EDT

Corey Hart Getty Getty Images

When Corey Hart underwent right knee surgery last week, it was estimated that he would be sidelined for four months. However, he is determined to make it back sooner.

According to, Hart said today that he has already begun rehabilitating his knee and feels that there’s a “realistic” chance he could be ready to play by the end of April. This would put him a month ahead of schedule.

“If it takes a little longer then mid to end of May, but I feel good about end of April,” Hart said in a text message. “So basically like 2011, when I came back and hit 26 homers in five months.”

Either way, the Brewers will have to begin the season without him. Mat Gamel, who missed all of last season following surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, is expected to get a chance to fill in. The Brewers were in talks with Lyle Overbay before he signed with the Red Sox this week and remain on the lookout for additional depth.

  1. hoober27 - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Gamel did not miss all of last season. He started the year at 1B for about a month until he blew the knee on the road, at San Diego I believe. Either way, he didn’t impress. Shaping up to be a real rough year for the Crew. Then again, if the Orioles made the dance, anybody can.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:51 AM

      Guys like you blow my mind. I’m not saying Gamel was great last year but he was actually playing pretty decent. As far as the rest of the Brewers go they aren’t goong to be picked any higher than 3rd by anyone in the division but this team is hardly as bad as jerkoffs like you want to think it is. Its Friday, I’m drunk and I’m really tired of all the lousy Brewer fans who don’t know shit about this team.

      • tgifinley88 - Feb 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        Agreed. Everyone seems to forget that Milwaukee had the top offense in the NL last year AFTER losing Prince Fielder. And that included losing Gamel and Alex Gonzalez on the same western roadtrip, and losing arguably our hottest hitter in Lucroy to a broken thumb midseason. Add in the fact that we have Segura to put up passable stats at the plate and great baserunning instead of the horrifying Cesar Izturis/Cody Ransom platoon that was going on after Gonzalez went down, and this offense is very, very impressive. With a young promising rotation that put up a tremendous amount of K’s last year, all the Brewers need to stay near the top of the Central all year is a bullpen that ranks between 20th and 15th in the MLB. With a league average bullpen last year the Brewers take the Central. Melvin addressed this by letting go of Parra, Rodriguez, Loe…and bringing in some nice additions in Badenhop, Gorzelanny, and Mike Gonzalez to go along with Axford (who realistically is not as good as his 2011 self but not as bad as his 2012 self), Jim Henderson, and Brandon Kintzler. It seems to me the only people that are down on the Brewers chances this year are the people that evidently don’t follow the Brewers very closely.

      • hoober27 - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Not sure how many you had, but I don’t really understand the attack. I usually enjoy your comments and feel you respectfully represent the Crew with your username, so I’ll just chalk this up to frustration.

        I pay for and have seen/listened to just about every Brewer game for the last decade plus. I loved the 2008 and 2011 rides and wouldn’t trade them (or Marcum back for Lawrie) for anything, but that taste of success has made this current team more difficult to stomach. I’m as optimistic as they come and can’t wait for this season, but I’ve got realistic expectations. Yes we led the league in blown games and should fully expect Axford to regress back to a better pitcher than 2012, but the rest of the bullpen doesn’t leave me with much confidence. It can’t be any worse than last year, but a few Nationals castoffs doesn’t turn this from the worst bullpen in baseball to a unit I’m confident in with the score close. I love Gallardo, but he would be a #2 at best on all the other NL contenders. Peralta and Thornburg should be rotation mainstays for years to come, but they’ll both have to make big jumps from last year for us to rely on them for 160+ innings of quality pitching. Fiers and Rogers were great stories, but if you’re relying on regression for Axford and the ‘pen, then it goes the opposite way with those two guys. Estrada/Narveson are injury prone guys that shouldn’t be anything more than #5 starters for a good team.

        Yes the offense was amazing last year, but I’m not expecting Ramirez to put up a 6.5 WAR again. Hopefully Weeks will be able to make up whatever drop off we see from Ramirez. I loved Aoki and Gomez down the stretch last year, but relying on both of those guys as everyday players, especially Gomez, is playing with fire. Gomez might be the best defensive CF in baseball, and that alone is worth keeping him in the lineup, but he is a free swinger who’s as streaky as they come. When he’s cold at the plate he might be the worst hitter in baseball. We’ll just have to hope last year was an indication of consistency and that he’s able to fend off those cold spells and hope they don’t overlap too much with anybody else. I’m excited about Segura, but he’s just not a big league hitter yet. I’d rather have him getting the AB’s and helping our pitching staff than Izturis/Ransom/Bianchi and even Gonzales, but he was essentially a replacement player last year (his WAR was actually 0.0). The fact that he was a noticeable upgrade tells you more about Izturis/Ransom/Bianchi than Segura. Segura does have upside, I just have no idea what to expect. I did like seeing that he won the batting title in the Dominican or wherever he played his winter ball, but that was only 35 games.

        Back to what this article was about, if you think the drop off from Hart to Gamel isn’t significant than you’re just lying to yourself. Gamel is the poster boy AAAA hitter. It wasn’t an ideal situation for him stuck behind Fielder, then bouncing around positions before finally getting re-appointed as the heir apparent to Fielder. He wasn’t terrible last year, but is that really our expectation if we want to contend (ie win 85-90 games)? Not to mention that Hart was probably our best defensive player not named Gomez. A full season from Segura will help, but when 5-6 of your regulars are below average defenders, that doesn’t help a pitching staff. Luckily we’re able to generate a lot of K’s, but we’ll have to see how repeatable that is/was.

        Luckily we’ve got one of the 5 best players in the game and a team solid enough that I feel confident we can beat anybody in baseball on any given day. Over 162 games, I think we just need to be a little more realistic as fans. The Nats/Braves/Giants/Reds are clearly better on paper with the D-Backs/Cards/Dodgers comparable. A lot happens over the course of a season and great teams on paper doesn’t always put it together. If we get some of the breaks we got in 2011 (and definitely didn’t get in 2012) and a few of our young pitchers can take the next step we have a chance for a playoff spot. I worry this team just lacks the quality pitching to contend over 162 games unless some chips fall our way. Anything that hurts our team strengths (such as losing Hart) just puts more pressure on the pitching staff. That’s not pessimism, that’s realism. I’m optimistic about this team and my God I hope we play good consistent baseball because 2008 and 2011 were two of the best sports years of my life.

        Sorry for the super long response, but I consider myself a diehard Brewer fan and was taken aback by both yours and tgifinley88’s attacks. I’m frustrated with the Hart injury, it definitely hurts, but luckily it should only be the first 4-6 weeks. Hopefully by September we’re looking back on that as something we were able to overcome.

      • bla bla bla - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Well said, hoober27. I suspect you’re correct in assuming that brewcrewfan54’s post was out of frustration (and alcohol). I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get nonsensical before, and I read this site constantly. Good on you for taking the high road in your response.

  2. cutlergoesdown - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    and wearing his sunglasses at night by May.

  3. onbucky96 - Feb 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Gamel has proven he can’t hit in the bigs. Call up Hunter Morris.

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