PHOENIX -- The Padres' clubhouse was more crowded than usual Tuesday afternoon. And -- for the first time this season -- it began to resemble the one the team envisioned before injuries occurred.A trio of injured Friars joined the rest of the team at Chase Field prior to the team's
PHOENIX -- The Padres' clubhouse was more crowded than usual Tuesday afternoon. And -- for the first time this season -- it began to resemble the one the team envisioned before injuries occurred.
A trio of injured Friars joined the rest of the team at Chase Field prior to the team's series opener against the D-backs. Alex Dickerson, Christian Friedrich and Travis Jankowski have been rehabbing at the team's Spring Training complex in Peoria, Ariz.
All three are on the mend from serious injuries, which landed them on the 60-day disabled list.
Dickerson went down with a bulging disk in his lower back at the start of spring. He had a minor setback over the weekend, when he felt some tightness in his upper back on the day he was set to make his first appearance as a designated hitter in an extended spring game.
"That cleared up," Dickerson said. "It wasn't related at all. It was an upper-back thing that got tight from taking so many swings in the cage. I made the call to not play that day. Just by coincidence, it was the first day I was supposed to play. I just decided it wasn't worth testing it."
Dickerson played Monday instead, and he made four plate appearances, including a double. Now, he hopes to work his way onto the field.
"It's felt good," Dickerson said. "It's just about getting into baseball shape, feeling game-speed and hopefully mixing in outfield soon."
Of the three, Friedrich is the furthest along in his recovery. He hasn't pitched yet this season, as he battles back from a strained left lat muscle and some elbow soreness. But he appeared twice in extended spring games, and will fly to Double-A San Antonio, where he is slated to pitch three innings in his first rehab start Thursday.
"I just want to see things in sync," Friedrich said. "I've been throwing bullpens and playing catch for God knows how long. ... There's a lot of outside things that come into play in the game, so it's about getting back to game speed."
Friedrich said he's tinkered a bit with his arm angle to make sure the ball comes out cleaner. His rehab stint could be extensive, resembling a full Spring Training progression.
Jankowski suffered a fracture in his right foot in April, when he fouled a ball off his cleat. He spent nearly a month in a walking boot, but he's out of it now and eager to begin the recovery process.
"It feels great, there's no pain," Jankowski said. "I could say it's getting better every day, but it's felt the same for a couple weeks now with no pain. It's just kind of a rehab progression now."
Jankowski will undergo a CT scan on Monday. If that comes back clean, he will begin taking part in baseball activity.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.