Quentin's focus shifts away from injured knee

Quentin's focus shifts away from injured knee

SAN ANTONIO -- Just 10 days ago, Opening Day was still in question for Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, who had a setback with his surgically repaired right knee earlier this month.

Since then, though, Quentin has made significant progress, and his knee is no longer as balky as it was in Arizona. On Friday, he played in this third game in as many days.

Now, Quentin said, he can think about something other than his knee.

"Now I can focus on baseball and not the knee. That shift needed to happen, and it has," Quentin said on Saturday.

Quentin had surgery on his right knee a year ago this month and didn't appear in a game with the team until late May. He then had minor surgery on the same knee in October.

Quentin appeared in a Spring Training game on March 8 and had two plate appearances but the game was called because of rain. Three days later, he aggravated his knee.

He worked his way back, though, playing in a handful of Minor League games before appearing in his first exhibition game on March 26.

"He's encouraged by it, the training staff is encouraged by it," said Padres manager Bud Black. "As long as Carlos feels good about where he is physically, that's a good thing."

Quentin was hitless in three at-bats on Friday against the Rangers and wasn't in the lineup on Saturday. His next at-bat will come in Monday's opener against the Mets at Citi Field.

"All the focus to this point has been on the knee, now I can just focus on getting on the field and playing again," he said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.