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Josh Willingham's batting practice

As you know by now, Josh Willingham took batting practice Sunday with some mix results .

"The bat felt pretty heavy [Sunday] when I was swinging," he said. "When I play a game, legs will be a big factor, playing every day. That's the main thing. Hopefully the back will stay feeling good so I can get the rest of the body in shape to play."

Assuming his back feels fine he will begin rehab in the Gulf Coast League .

By the middle of the week, he should be playing games in the Gulf Coast [League],'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

I've said it before and I will say it again: back surgery is in his future.

But assuming his back holds up for now it shouldn't take him that long to get back into playing shape.  Though joining the Marlins on their next road trip may be overly optimistic.

There is no doubt that Willingham is missed, but Gonzo has done a fantastic job of filling in for him.  In other words, there is no need to rush him back.  Yes, I know that the team is 19-18 since he has been out of the lineup but the reason for that isn't because of the lack of offensive production.

The main thing is to get the Hammer feeling better and up to speed and join the team when he is ready to go.