Manager Brad Ausmus underwent the same microdiscectomy surgery on his back during his playing career, so he knows what Dirks is going through. Ausmus said that once he was fully cleared, he was able to progress quickly.
"I remember kind of kind of easily doing some of the stuff he did, throwing and taking dry swings," Ausmus said. "You take some swings off the tee and soft-toss, and then it goes relatively quickly after that. I think once the doctors feel like you can rotate without any issues, [it's key]. It went relatively quickly from dry swings to live batting practice and then rehab."
The original prognosis on Dirks was that he'd require 12 weeks from surgery before he'd be ready for games. Memorial Day will be the 11-week mark since Dirks' surgery.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.