By Bruce Levine-
MESA, Ariz. (CBS) — Starlin Castro is still not ready to test his injured hamstring in a game. On Thursday, Castro took a full batting practice for the first time since coming up lame in an exhibition game on March 2.
The target for a Cactus League return for Castro is next week.
“I went to the cage yesterday, and I feel good,” Castro said Friday. ” I feel like I haven’t lost anything. I have good (range of motion), so I feel really good.”
Castro said he would like to get in many of the last 10 games of spring training. The Cubs leave Arizona after a game against the Diamondbacks on March 28.
“I am running well,” he said. “I took yesterday off to get treatments, I think I will be ready soon.”
Castro missed two weeks last spring with a hamstring injury on the other leg. He wasn’t affected by the injury again during the 2013 season, playing in 161 games. Castro has only missed five games in the last three seasons.
The 24-year-old shortstop worked especially hard on conditioning this offseason. The Cubs sent trainer Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic to work with Castro for 30 days over the winter.
Castro also went to a special baseball and core strength camp in Bradenton, Fla., as part of his commitment to the 2014 season. Castro hit a career low .245 in 2013.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.