Buster Posey ‘Optimistic' for Opening Day Return

Posey says he'll be in the squat come April

On Wednesday we mentioned that the Giants lacked expectations, in part because former Rookie of the Year and would-be All-Star catcher Buster Posey is returning from a gruesome injury.

But lets ratchet those expectations up a bit, because Posey is "optimistic" he'll be back for Opening Day in 2012.

"I'm optimistic," Posey told Karl Ravech on ESPN's Baseball Tonight Thursday. "I think throughout the rehab process I've met all the goals we set or exceeded some of them, so I'm very optimistic to be out there on opening day."

Posey was also asked about the complications involving an ankle injury and how much more difficult it is to return after a serious injury, particularly to the catcher position.

"Well, you need both of them that's for sure," Posey said. "Our training staff's done a great job. Probably three weeks after surgery they had me in a removable cast. And I was moving my ankle and just working on mobility.

"That's the biggest thing is just getting that range of motion, because you need a little bit more as a catcher than you would in the first place playing another position."

Also coming with the catcher position: self-doubt. Does it creep in when that first runner comes sprinting down the third-base line to try and plow through Posey at the plate? Or does it happen before then?

"I think as ballplayers that's something you have to deal with," Posey said. "You have to stay as positive as you possibly can. This game's all about failure as you know, so there's going to be hurdles you have to overcome and this is just one of them. So it's a matter of just keeping a good outlook on everything and I just appreciate I'm going to be able to play again and I'm looking forward to it."

Posey's optimism shouldn't be surprising, given the way he's handled his rise to fame and then the nasty injury (and the controversy surrounding it) last year. He's plowed through his recovery, just working hard and saying the right things.

If Buster can get back and find the form he had in 2010, he shouldn't be the only one who's optimistic either. But more important than getting him back on Opening Day is getting him back healthy.

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