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Josh Willingham is testing his back

Josh Willingham is beginning to see where he stands health-wise .

On the disabled list since April 29 (back), left fielder Josh Willingham was encouraged after taking some swings off the tee Monday. Willingham said he went about 80 percent and didn't feel anything more than a touch of tightness.

Willingham will continue hitting off the tee and soft toss with an eye toward taking batting practice on the field when the Marlins return home Friday. 

Assuming everything goes well, he is still a ways from returning to the lineup.

He just began hitting off a tee and soft toss and if his back doesn't tighten up today, he will continue to do so.  Then there is testing it in batting practice and after that is a minor league rehab stint.

What it all amounts to it could be awhile before we see him playing for the Marlins again.

In other injury news :

Center fielder Alejandro De Aza has stopped running drills for seven days because of soreness to his left ankle sprain.


Reliever Lee Gardner had a follow-up visit with orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Gardner has right elbow inflammation as well as shoulder discomfort. It is believed that Andrews is examining the right-hander's shoulder.

Nothing good to see with De Aza or Gardner.