ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Mark Ellis is on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left knee, but the veteran took indoor batting practice for the first time Monday.
"I've done nothing really baseball-wise," Ellis said. "Just kind of letting it rest, rehabbing it and strengthening up things around it. But I feel good. I feel it's definitely going in the right direction."
Ellis, 36, injured the knee early in spring training, then aggravated it when he slipped during a game later in camp. He more than likely will need a minor-league rehab stint.
"You never want to. Rehab assignments aren't fun," Ellis said. "But whatever is going to make me more prepared to play big-league games."
Compared to four or five days ago, Ellis said the knee "doesn't hurt as much."
"I can do more things," he said. "Going up stairs and going down stairs are tests when I wake up in the morning. It's definitely headed in the right direction. We're getting the soreness out of there."
Ellis, the former Los Angeles Dodger, was glad he was able to participate in Opening Day ceremonies even if he wasn't physically able to perform.
"It's never fun to be on the DL," Ellis said. "I am where I am. It will be fun to see the stuff today. Obviously, you want to be out there on the field. Everything's headed in the right direction."
Ellis is expected to back up rookie Kolten Wong. He signed a one-year, $5.25 million free-agent on Dec. 16.