Adrian Gonzalez has been medically cleared to swing a bat, and did so Monday for the first time since his shoulder surgery. According to a release from the team (via Peter Abraham), Gonzalez was re-evaluated by the team medical staff on Friday, and after consulting with Gonzalez' surgeon, decided the Red Sox' new first baseman was good to go.
For now, Gonzalez will be limited to hitting off a tee. He took 20 swings today, and felt nothing out of the ordinary. With ordinary being what it is for him, that's great news for the Sox--even better given that this represents an early return for the slugger, who wasn't expected to start swinging for about another week. If all goes well, he could see live batting practice before too long, and shouldn't be too far behind the rest of the team when it comes to playing in exhibitions.
With Kevin Youkilis' thumb long-since healed, Pedroia moving at nearly full speed, and most of the other maladies from last year's team gone with the offseason, Gonzalez getting back into things would be one of the last steps between the Sox and a fully healthy team, which is something they haven't had in nearly a year.