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Hart thrilled with recovery milestone

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Corey Hart was not exactly sure Saturday morning about the next step in his rehabilitation from knee surgery, but he was thrilled about one positive result of his encouraging MRI scan: He can drive again.

"I hate depending on people," Hart said, looking around the clubhouse. "A lot of these people in here found out where I live. Especially the guys in Scottsdale, I would say, 'If you just take me, I live real close.'"

Not exactly. Hart lives in a community west of Phoenix -- on the opposite side of town from Scottsdale.

"[Bobby] Crosby took me one day, and I was like, 'Dude, I just live on the other side of [U.S. Hwy.] 101,'" Hart said. "Then we cross the 101 and I say, 'See those mountains way out there? I live on the base of those mountains.' But guys were definitely helpful."

Now, Hart will be free to help himself. A follow-up MRI scan Friday morning confirmed that the defect on the joint surface of his knee has "filled in" since Hart's Jan. 25 surgery. He no longer has to walk around on crutches, and he will slowly graduate to new exercises intended to build strength and increase range of motion.

The Brewers' original estimate had Hart sidelined until late May. Hart remains optimistic about beating that prediction.

"It was good news, but I still don't know exactly what the game plan is yet," Hart said. "It was good enough news that I don't have to wear crutches anymore and I can start driving, but I still don't know if there is a timetable or a plan. I just know I'm about to do more."

"I think [an April return] is more a possibility now than it was," said Hart. "I think they were -- not surprised, but they weren't sure what it was going to show. All of a sudden, it showed it was good enough to where I can move forward. I know I'll do more than I've been doing. I know I can do more, I just don't know how much more. I can't jump to doing full bodyweight stuff."

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

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