Brian McCann would like to be behind the plate on opening day and beat the projections which have him missing the start of the season.
Even so, the Braves catcher realizes he must be cautious in his return from major surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
McCann said Wednesday ''things are ramping up'' midway through his six-month rehabilitation schedule. He began throwing last week and started running two weeks ago.
After making six straight All-Star teams, McCann struggled last season as he tried to play through the injury. He hit only .230, almost 50 points below his career average.
McCann is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the season. He says his goal is to convince team doctors in spring training otherwise.