He didn't really have the opportunity to steal a base.

Nor, frankly, would he have even tried.

Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry (knee) finally returned to the field Sunday afternoon, for his third game of the spring and his first since Feb. 24. And he singled in his only at-bat, a line drive to right field off Washington Nationals right-hander Ryan Mattheus.

But Berry, 21-for-21 in steals for the Tigers last season, stayed put. That was by design.

"Nah, not yet, I'm not gonna push it," Berry said. "I feel pretty good. And getting back into the mix, it'd be kind of foolish to do anything unnecessary right now."

Not that he didn't think about running, though.

After Mattheus threw over to first base, the wheels started spinning in Berry's mind.

"I'm not gonna lie, I did have the thought," he said. "But I said I'm not gonna push it."

It became a moot point after that, as Brennan Boesch grounded into an inning-ending out on the second pitch he saw.

In manager Jim Leyland's mind, though, there were no restrictions on Berry. Speed is his game, and he has the green light to go on his own — rather than wait for the sign from third-base coach Tom Brookens. Sunday was no exception.

"And I think it's better even now with the injury that he's on his own, because he knows if it's not quite right, so he won't go," Leyland said. "I don't want to sit over there and send him and force him to go. If it feels good enough to run, he can run."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130310/SPORTS0104/303100336#ixzz2NEnnqfdj