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Mastroianni readies for healthy spring after tough 2013

Mastroianni readies for healthy spring after tough 2013 play video for Mastroianni readies for healthy spring after tough 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Darin Mastroianni can only shake his head when he thinks about the fluke injury suffered last Spring Training that essentially derailed his season.

Mastroianni fouled a ball off his left ankle in late March in a Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals, but didn't think it would keep him out of action for long. He ended up making the team out of camp as a fourth outfielder, but aggravated the injury while trying to run early in the season and ultimately landed on the disabled list in mid-April.

Things only got worse from there, as he ended up needing surgery to repair a bone chip in his ankle in May before undergoing a second surgery on Oct. 17 to remove the fixation hardware originally placed in his ankle.

Mastroianni, who played in just 30 games with the Twins last year, spent the entire offseason in Minnesota rehabbing his ankle, and said Wednesday it's almost 100 percent and he doesn't need to wrap or tape it anymore.

"It feels good," Mastroianni said. "It's a little sore, but everything else is sore, too. But everything feels good. I plan to be ready for the first [Grapefruit League] game on [Feb. 28]. I'm not too worried about it. I think we'll get a better feel and see how it reacts when we get to game speed. But we'll get a good feel for that next week once camp really starts."

Mastroianni was taken off the 40-man roster this offseason, but said it doesn't change how he'll approach this spring. He's still competing for a spot as a fourth outfielder and knows the decision will ultimately be out of his control.

"The roster is their call, it's not my call," Mastroianni said. "I hope I'll be there, but I don't have much say other than going out and playing."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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