SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Next year, Brewers right fielder Corey Hart might skip Spring Training altogether.
Hart had another spring setback on Tuesday, though this one was merely cosmetic. Two weeks removed from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, and making terrific progress, Hart was struck in the head by a weightlifting bar during an afternoon workout and needed eight stitches.
He was back at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday to continue working back to full strength. Hart promised to be careful.
"I'm going to start coming in around my birthday," said Hart, who turns 30 on Saturday. "Spend the first three weeks relaxing, instead of trying to get hurt again."
Said manager Ron Roenicke: "He's had a couple of rough springs."
That's right: This is not the first. In 2010, Hart hit .172 and was left out of the Opening Day lineup, only to rebound with a career year. In 2011, he missed all of Spring Training after straining a rib-cage muscle.
Now, Hart is rehabbing again. He underwent surgery March 6 to repair three tears of the meniscus in his right knee. He's made a speedy return, taking full batting practice for the third straight day Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Hart was working out with an elastic band attached to a metal bar, which slipped off its rack and struck him on three different spots on his head. Only one of them needed stitches.
The good news was that Hart was back on the field Wednesday. He's hoping to begin playing games this weekend, but Roenicke made clear the decision belonged to head athletic trainer Dan Wright.
"I'm not doing anything until the trainers tell me he's close," Roenicke said. "He hasn't been out on the field running. He still has some time."
Hart was staying positive.
"If I can stay away from hurting myself again, I'll be good," he said.