Even if the Rockies make moves at the winter meetings, there is nothing more important to their 2014 success than the health of their star players. Carlos Gonzalez eased fears and provided a sliver of good news Monday, telling The Denver Post that his sprained right middle finger “felt really good” after swinging for the first time this offseason.

Gonzalez elected to avoid surgery to fix the torn ligament, opting for complete rest because there were concerns that an operation would limit the finger’s flexibility. Gonzalez took 50 swings off the batting tee at Coors Field on Monday, and plans to take batting practice later this week. His preference is not to adjust his swing or how he holds the bat because he doesn’t want to compromise his power.

“It’s getting stronger. It felt really good. No issues,” said Gonzalez, a two-time all-star. “I am happy with how it feels.”

There was both a risk in the surgery and avoiding it. If Gonzalez has a setback, there would be no time to recover from the procedure before the start of the season. Gonzalez initially injured the finger prior to the all-star break against the Diamondbacks. It flared up on at least six different occasions, limiting him to 37 at-bats in the second half and one home run.