FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Joe Mauer took batting practice and ran the bases during Friday's first workout for pitchers and catchers, but the Twins were being cautious with the load for their All-Star catcher, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Mauer took part in some of the catching drills, but did not catch any bullpen sessions on Friday. The team plans to limit how much wear and tear the catcher puts on his legs in the early going of Spring Training. "We're not going to push him right now," Gardenhire said. "First we're going to get him going and get his legs underneath him. There is no sense pushing him. ... He wants to be out there and we're going to have him out there. But the thing we can guard against is him sitting back there and squatting all day and catching bullpens."
Mauer underwent minor surgery on his left knee in mid-December to help alleviate some irritation in the joint that had caused him to miss nine games at the end of September last season. Gardenhire said the catcher has still been receiving treatment on his knee, which is the same one that Mauer had surgically repaired back in 2004. "He has a little bit of soreness in his knee from the surgeries, and he's still working his way back from that," Gardenhire said. "So we'll be a little more guarded with that and take it a little easier with him. "Once we get going towards the games, we'll mix it up and play him when we think we have to and let him get some swings in, DH, stuff like that."