Matsui takes first BP since surgery

Matsui takes first BP since surgery

SAN DIEGO -- Four Houston Astros hitters headed to PETCO Park early on Tuesday to take extra batting practice, including second baseman Kazuo Matsui.

The session marked Matsui's first round of batting practice since his surgery late in Spring Training. His disabled list stint will likely extend two weeks into the season, but Matsui sounded encouraged that a return to the field is near.

"I've been making good progress," he said. "It's not going to be that long. Hopefully, as soon as possible."

Matsui will likely play in a few Minor League games on a rehab assignment before he'll be cleared to rejoin the Astros. If all goes well, Matsui could be ready to play when the Astros travel to Philadelphia April 15.

In addition to Matsui, J.R Towles, Hunter Pence and Tomas Perez took early BP on Tuesday.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.