Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 3 Days

Gonzalez (knee) ran the bases Monday and could play in games sooner than originally expected, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports.

While Gonzalez won't play in the Grapefruit League opener, he could get into some spring training games sooner than later, and the Rockies remain hopeful that he will be ready to go for Opening Day.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 4 Days

Gonzalez (knee) is expected to begin running the bases next week, MLB.com reports.

Gonzalez has been taking batting practice and sprinting without pain in his knee, and it sounds like he could run the bases early next week. Running the bases is always a big step for a player returning from injury, typically one of the final hurdles a player must clear before returning to game action. That said, manager Walt Weiss isn't in any hurry to return the 29-year-old to games and is instead focusing more on getting Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki (hip) ready for the start of the regular season.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 9 Days

Gonzalez (knee), who was on the field taking batting practice with his teammates Monday, recently told the Denver Post that his knee isn't bothering him at all. "I can put all my weight back, sit and wait for the ball something that I wasn't able to do last year," Gonzalez said. "It's my back knee, and it's really important to stay back. I have a leg kick, and last year I had a difficult time staying back on pitches."

Much like teammate Troy Tulowitzki, Gonzalez won't play in Cactus League games until he's ready. Gonzalez is sprinting without pain, and the next step in his recovery will be running the bases and making sharp cuts in the outfield. Gonzalez was limited to 70 games last season before his season ended following left knee surgery.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 1 Month

Gonzalez (knee) will be allowed to change direction while running when spring training begins, MLB.com reports.

Gonzalez was cleared for straight-ahead running and on-field batting practice earlier this week, and barring a setback, will be given the green light to cut on the knee next month. Rockies GM Jeff Bridich also revealed that Gonzalez's left index finger, from which a benign tumor was removed last June, has healed and that Gonzalez is throwing. All signs point to the 29-year-old being close to a full-go at the start of spring training, but manager Walt Weiss suggested Gonzalez won't see a lot of action in the Cactus League, especially early on.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 1 Month

Gonzalez (knee) will meet with a doctor Thursday and hopes to receive clearance to run and take on-field batting practice, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports.

Gonzalez was cleared to resume hitting around Christmastime, but seems to have been limited to just taking at-bats in the cage thus far. With a positive report from his doctor, he'll be able to proceed to the next step in the recovery process. The Rockies believe that Gonzalez is progressing faster than anticipated from the injury and haven't ruled him out for being available for the start of spring training.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 2 Months

Gonzalez (knee) announced Wednesday that he's been cleared to resume hitting, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports.

Things seem to be progressing positively for Gonzalez since undergoing surgery in August on the torn patella in his left knee, the third procedure he's underwent in the past year. The ongoing injury issues torpedoed Gonzalez's 2014 campaign and create plenty of doubt if he'll be able to reemerge as the annual 20-homer/20-steal threat he had been prior to last season. Though he's on track to be healthy by the end of spring training, Gonzalez will carry plenty of risk for fantasy owners who decide to cast their lot with him.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 3 Months

Gonzalez (knee) is ahead of schedule in his recovery from hip surgery and Rockies manager Walt Weiss isn't ruling out the possibility of having his star outfielder available for the start of spring training.

Speaking to reporters during a media session at the Winter Meetings, Weiss did not elaborate on the specifics of the original timetable for Gonzalez's return. The previous estimate suggested that Gonzalez might be close to 100 percent at the start of spring training, which may hold up if he continues to progress as expected.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 4 Months

The Rockies are willing to listen to offers for Gonzalez (knee), the Denver Post reports.

Owner Dick Monfort said about a year ago that his plan was "to always keep" Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki (hip) for the fans' sake, but after a 66-96 campaign, he's evidently reconsidered. Gonzalez seems like the far more realistic trade candidate, considering the team's logjam of capable outfielders, which will likely include Michael Cuddyer again assuming he accepts his $15.3 million qualifying offer. Further, Gonzalez's contract is not as daunting to take on, as he's owed $53 million over the next three years whereas Tulowitzki is due $118 million through 2020. Ultimately, health may be the biggest roadblock for the Rockies in moving Gonzalez, as he underwent surgery to repair a damaged patella tendon in his left knee in August, ending his season. He's played in 180 games over the past two seasons.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 4 Months

Gonzalez (knee) was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list Monday.

Gonzalez has been making progress after undergoing season-ending knee surgery Aug. 19, and is no longer using crutches. He also remains optimistic that he will be nearly 100 percent by the start of spring training. If he continues to progress, he could be good to go for the start of the regular season.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/RF COL 5 Months

Gonzalez (knee) is no longer using crutches and remains optimistic that he'll be at close to full strength by the start of spring training, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.

Gonzalez first underwent the season-ending procedure on his left knee on Aug. 19, after he played through tendinitis for much of the season. The 28-year-old said he still has difficulty climbing stairs, but with a slow and steady approach to the rehab process, he believes he'll creep closer to 100 percent health in the coming months.