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Giants trainer: Posey ahead of schedule in recovery

Buster Posey will be in Arizona continuing his rehab until November for the Giants, then return home to Leesburg to get ready for 2012 spring training.

Buster Posey will be in Arizona continuing his rehab until November for the Giants, then return home to Leesburg to get ready for 2012 spring training.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The long road back for San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey appears to have gotten shorter in recent weeks.

The former Lee County and Florida State star, who suffered a season-ending injury May 25 during a home-plate collision with the Florida Marlins' Scott Cousins, has been in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the last month or so continuing his rehab -- and so far, so good.

In fact, the news is better than good.

Dave Groeschner, the Giants' head trainer who has been overseeing Posey's recovery from a broken left fibula and three torn tendons in his ankle, told San Francisco Chronicle sports writer Henry Shulman, one of the Giants' beat writers, this week that Posey it not only progressing well, but he's ahead of schedule.

Shulman wrote in a blog post Tuesday that Groeschner, "just told me that Posey has begun catching live bullpen sessions for pitchers in the instructional league. Groeschner watched Buster catch his second one this morning. The session lasted about 8 minutes."

But the news gets better.

Shulman also wrote that Posey is "hitting a few times a week in a batting cage and will begin taking live batting practice soon."

The mere fact that Posey is even at this point in his recovery is a huge step in the right direction. After all, the Giants had originally thought November would be the month that Posey might return to live action.

Instead, it now appears he's a full three weeks ahead of schedule.

"He's been feeling good and progressing well, so there was no reason to wait," Groeschner told The Chronicle.

Posey is scheduled to stay in Arizona and continue working until the first week in November, but will then return home to Leesburg and rest -- he and wife Kristen, also a Lee County native, just became the proud parents of twins, Lee and Addison, on Aug. 14 -- as he prepares for San Francisco's spring training in February 2012.

After winning the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2010 and helping lead the Giants to their first World Series since moving from New York in 1958, Posey's sophomore season was cut short by the first major injury of his baseball career at any level. As a result, the Giants -- who were in first place in the NL West when Posey went down -- fizzled, and missed the postseason altogether.

Posey batted .305 with 18 homers, 23 doubles, two triples and 67 RBI in 108 games last year for the Giants after being called up in late May from Triple A Fresno. Posey was hitting .284 with four homers and five doubles this season before he was injured.