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Tracy having few problems with right knee

In the mornings before games and when they are finished in the afternoon, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Chad Tracy has to think about his surgically repaired right knee.

Maintenance still must be performed.

But during games? He says the leg, which had bothered him for parts of the past two seasons, no longer is a factor.

“It’s been awhile,” he said. “Toward the end of last year, in some of the heated games when the adrenaline’s going, you don’t think about it. Right now it’s spring training, and there’s not a whole lot of adrenaline flowing, and I’m still not thinking about it.”

And that is among the more-encouraging developments for the Diamondbacks this spring.

In a lineup that is predominantly right-handed, the re-emergence of Tracy’s left-handed bat could add an element that has been mostly missing for the Diamondbacks since his knee began acting up in 2007.

The knee ultimately required microfracture surgery, a procedure he underwent in September 2007 and one that typically takes between 12 and 18 months to return to full strength.

But when he returned to the field in May of last year, he was well short of being at full strength, and the knee had its good and bad days.

Tracy had trouble playing more than two days in a row, and the leg inhibited him from hitting the ball to all fields, something he had always done well.

“You have to have your legs underneath you and drive through the ball to drive the ball up the middle or the other way,” he said.

A good sign: Tracy has been spraying the ball around Cactus League ballparks.

“It’s been a pretty good progression for him,” manager Bob Melvin said.

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This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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