TEMPE, Ariz. - He is squatting less in the weight room, but assuming barbells aren't added as part of baseball's standard equipment, Gary Matthews Jr. should look the same on the field these days.
The outfielder made his spring debut Sunday in the Angels' 8-1 loss to the Oakland A's, announcing afterward his surgically repaired left knee is sound and that he's under "no limitations."
"I wanted to work (manager Mike Scioscia) for another inning and one more at-bat," said Matthews, a San Fernando High product.
"But it didn't work out. I could have gone nine (innings) today if they wanted me to."
Instead, Matthews played three innings and batted once, grounding out to second.
"He got out of the (batter's) box and moved well in right field," Scioscia said. "The big thing is how he feels tomorrow. He was fine today."
Matthews, who had surgery Oct. 28, said he initially thought he would miss the first month of the regular season. But at some point in January, Matthews figured he would be ready right from Day One because his rehabilitation was progressing so well.
"I knew if they were OK with it, I'd be OK for Opening Day," Matthews said. "They know what a pain ... I can be about getting out there and playing. There's only so much rehabbing you can do. You want to go play."
Even with his rediscovered health, playing time could be an issue for Matthews.
The Angels are outfielder-heavy, with Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera expected to receive most of the at-bats.
This is a large spring training for Brandon Wood, a first-round pick whom the Angels would love to emerge as a major-league contributor.
So far, Wood has been large, too.
Entering Sunday, he led the Angels in hits with 12, half of which had been for extra bases. He's batting .400overall.
"His at-bats have been very consistent," Scioscia said. "He's getting into hitter's counts and not fishing."
In 30 at-bats this spring, Wood has struck out just twice. He has averaged one strikeout every 3.3 at-bats in 68 major league games.
Jered Weaver (Simi Valley High) started and pitched into the third inning against Oakland.
"It's coming along," he said. "It was better this time than last time. That's always a good sign."
Weaver threw 50 pitches in retiring seven A's. He allowed three runs and six hits.
"He took some steps forward today," Scioscia said.
Wood looks good
Mike Napoli homered for the Angels' only run. ... Torii Hunter returned after missing time to rest his ailing shoulder. ... Kendry Morales had three of the Angels' five hits, lifting his average to .412. ... The Angels reassigned pitcher Rafael Rodriguez and infielder Mark Trumbo to their minor league camp.