CHICAGO -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus admitted feeling a bit nervous before throwing a baseball for the first time in more than a month on Thursday afternoon.
Five weeks after he fractured his right elbow on a hit by pitch, Andrus began baseball activities when he ran in the outfield at Guaranteed Rate Field, fielded ground balls that were thrown softly to him and played catch.
Andrus knows he is still not at 100 percent and has work to do before he is eligible to come off of the 60-day disabled list on June 11, but said Thursday was a step in the right direction.
"I never thought I would say this, but it was pretty cool to play catch again," Andrus said. "It feels good, first day of actually doing something so I actually feel like I'm part of the team again.
"It's been hard, but I'm trying to take my time and come back stronger."
Andrus said he was most nervous to see how his arm -- which remains in a sling for precautionary reasons -- would respond to throwing and running. Andrus is on the DL for the first time in his career and said his biggest concern was whether he would feel any vibration in his arm as the broken bone continues to heal.
Andrus said everything felt normal in his brief time on the field Thursday, which he took as a positive step.
Andrus said he hopes to begin swinging a bat next week, which will be the six-week mark of his recovery. Andrus expected to miss 6-8 weeks after being hit. He will have his elbow checked again next week as well.
But for now, everything remains on track.
"I think [returning to baseball activities] is the start of the pathway to the end for him," manager Jeff Banister said Thursday. "That's a huge boost for the morale of our guys to see him out there doing that -- and for him."
Andrus is hitting .327 with two home runs and five RBIs this season and after Thursday's activity, the 29-year-old looks forward to being able to do more.
"I haven't felt this fresh in a while," Andrus said. "I know especially these next couple of weeks is going to be a little hard … but I know I'm already fresher."