Archive for Sunday, May 9, 2004

Garciaparra ‘improving’

May 9, 2004

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— Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra took batting practice Saturday for the first time since injuring his right Achilles' tendon in spring training.

"I'm definitely excited to be out here," he said before Boston's game against the Kansas City Royals. "I can see it is improving every day, and when you see that, it starts to get exciting."

Garciaparra had just eight at-bats this spring before he was injured. Although the team initially hoped he could be ready for the start of the season, his rehab has been slower than first expected.

The Red Sox shortstop, who can become a free agent after the season, said he had no timetable for a return. He said he felt OK in the field but hadn't tested himself on some plays, like going to his right.

"I don't like to jump the gun and say it's going to be all right," he said. "There's going to be a setback, there's going to be those days when it's really sore and some inflammation. Those days are expected. The important thing is to not let those days get you down and go, 'Uh oh, am I going backwards?'"

Garciaparra worked out Friday by playing a simulated game, hitting off a tee, running the bases and taking some grounders. Garciaparra said he planned to stay in Boston until he was ready for a rehab assignment in the minors.

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