© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

06/25/08 9:40 PM ET

Iguchi's rehab ahead of schedule

Padres second baseman still several weeks from returning

SAN DIEGO -- When Padres second baseman Tadahito Iguchi suffered a separated right shoulder on June 5, he was told it would be upwards of six weeks before he was allowed to do anything baseball related.

As it turns out, Iguchi's recovery and rehabilitation are going so well that he was scheduled to visit team doctor Heinz Hoenecke on Wednesday to plot out the next few weeks regarding what he'll be able to do.

"We have been told that we're ahead of schedule," Iguchi said through interpreter David Yamamoto before the Padres' game against the Twins on Wednesday at PETCO Park.

Iguchi suffered the injury in the seventh inning of a victory over the Mets when he fell trying to avoid a ground ball hit by teammate Kevin Kouzmanoff as he ran to third base.

Iguchi had three hits in that game to lift his average to .259. After a rough April (.225), he hit .278 in May, with nine multihit games. He had settled in nicely in his first season as the Padres second baseman after signing a one-year deal in December.

Edgar Gonzalez has filled in more than admirably at second base for Iguchi, hitting .307 with one home run and 10 RBIs on the season and collecting seven multihit games this month.

Iguchi still occasionally wears a sling to keep his shoulder protected, though he doesn't sleep with it on. He said Wednesday there's little pain in the shoulder itself.

"Obviously, it was a real discomfort, having to keep it still," Iguchi said. "The hardest part was coming to the ballpark, being helpless. Now we're at a point where it's not as bad. I'm trying to stay positive about it."

As for when Iguchi will return, San Diego manager Bud Black said it will be several weeks before he's back in a Padres uniform.

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