So far, so good: Valaika's knee feels strong

So far, so good: Valaika's knee feels strong

So far, so good: Valaika's knee feels strong
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- While there has been no game action to truly test it, Reds infielder Chris Valaika's surgically repaired right knee has made it through early workouts without issue.

Valaika, 26, completely tore the anterior cruciate ligament on Sept. 11 during a game vs. the Rockies. He spent the entire offseason in Arizona rehabilitating.

"The knee feels great, and it's felt great for a while now," Valaika said. "I surprise myself sometimes going for balls during BP, or taking ground balls by cranking on it, planting and making the throw. So that is all positive for me. I try not to think about it. I don't want to have that crutch in my mind where I am tentative of doing things. I'm just going and seeing where it takes me. It feels good being 100 percent."

In 14 games over two big league stints with the Reds in 2011, Valaika batted .280 (7-for-25) and made seven starts. He batted .261 with seven homers and 37 RBIs at Triple-A Louisville, and is now in camp trying to land a roster spot as a reserve infielder.

"I have the confidence that I feel the best I've felt in a while, and can give my best effort here for six weeks and see how it goes," Valaika said. "That's all I can control."