ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Jason Kendall took a big step toward returning to the Royals on Sunday by flying to Arizona to further the rehabilitation process of his right shoulder.
Kendall last played on Aug. 30 when his aching shoulder forced him out of the lineup. He underwent extensive surgery on Sept. 3 in Los Angeles and has been on the disabled list ever since.
At the Royals' training facility in Surprise, Ariz., Kendall will play for the Rookie classification team in the Arizona League, which opens on Monday.
Kendall, who'll turn 37 next Sunday, joined the Royals as a free agent for the 2010 season and batted .256 in 118 games. He's regarded as an excellent defensive catcher and game-caller.
He had ambitiously set Opening Day as a goal for his return, but he didn't recover as quickly as he'd hoped. When he does return, it'll be his 16th Major League season.