Perez off crutches as knee rehab is proceeding

Perez off crutches as knee rehab is proceeding

KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Salvador Perez might not be ready to go dancing, but at least he's off his crutches and moved through the Royals' clubhouse at a pretty brisk pace for a guy who had knee surgery four weeks ago.

Perez has his left knee in a brace as he recovers from surgery to repair the lateral meniscus that he tore when reaching for a pitch while warming up Jonathan Sanchez before a March 12 game in Surprise, Ariz. Perez left the game after one inning and probably won't play again until around the All-Star break.

"Everything has gone great in the rehab. The knee is getting stronger and I'm getting anxious," he said via translator and bench coach Chino Cadahia.

Perez had just signed a long-term contract that guarantees him $7 million over the next five years with three club option years beyond that. So he has security.

"It's nice to have the contract, but I'd much rather be playing," Perez said.

After rehabbing in Kansas City since training camp broke, Perez was happy to see "my family" -- meaning the team -- back home for Friday's home opener even if he has to sit it out.

"I'm taking it all in stride and I'm looking forward to next year's Opening Day," he said.