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Pedroia at camp early, says foot is fully healed

CBSSports.com wire reports
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia reported early to spring training camp Friday and said his broken left foot is fully healed.

Pedroia appeared in only 75 games last year -- the fewest he's played since making his big league debut in 2006 -- after fouling a ball off his foot July 25 in San Francisco. That was the day after he hit a career-high three home runs in Colorado.

"My foot's repaired," Pedroia said. "There's a screw in there that's holding everything together. So, it's a ton better. I feel great. There's not going to be any setbacks or anything like that."

Pedroia, who expects to be monitored this spring and won't take part in the team's conditioning drills, had to learn to be patient and let his foot heal.

"It's been tough," he said. "But you try and set little goals, stuff like that.

"The other day was my last workout and I was kind of excited. I've put in a lot of hard work and I'm ready for it to show on the field."

The Red Sox open camp Tuesday with the first scheduled workout for pitchers and catchers. The initial full-squad workout is four days later.

Pedroia is uncertain if he will play in fewer games than usual this spring.

"I don't know," he said. "I haven't talked to [manager Terry Francona] about anything like that. But I don't think that's necessary. Whatever they have planned for me, I'm ready to do."

With rain washing out on-field batting practice, Pedroia hit in the cages Friday. He wore a protective covering on his injured foot.

"I don't want to hit another ball off it," he said. "[But] I'm used to it. That was the same thing I wore when I came back and played those two games. It's just protection. It's not like it's a brace or anything."

Pedroia returned to Boston's lineup on Aug. 17. The next day, in the first inning, he stole second base and took third on the accompanying error, aggravating his injured foot. He was placed back on the disabled list and had season-ending surgery Sept. 3.

Pedroia had expressed concern in the offseason about how his foot was healing.

"I think what I was trying to say is when you have an injury like that, you try to find ways to (see) what makes you feel right," he said. "There are so many different areas of your foot and I've got to get my leg back to normal. Some of the things I was trying to do weren't the right things to do. But we found a way to make me feel strong and I feel great right now.

"I'm just trying to get everything working together. If one part of my leg isn't firing, it's going to affect my foot. But we kind of figured out what my problem was. The last three weeks I've felt great."

Pedroia began his rehab work in October and started baseball workouts at the beginning of the year. Other than distance running, his workouts have been normal, he said.

The 2008 AL MVP, Pedroia was one of 19 Red Sox players who combined for 24 stints on the DL last season, missing a total of 1,018 games. He is looking forward to getting the club back to full strength and working with new teammates such as outfielder Carl Crawford, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and reliever Bobby Jenks.

"We're excited," Pedroia said. "I talked to Adrian a little bit, getting to know him. But everyone is really excited. We're fired up. Everyone's healthy and it's going to be fun.

"One through nine, it should be pretty darn good. We'll get out here and get to work and get everything going. It's going to be fun when everyone's together and we get to see everybody."

After finishing third in the AL East last season, missing the playoffs for just the second time since 2002, the Red Sox enter spring training with perhaps higher expectations than any other team after the offseason acquisitions of several high-profile players.

"[Expectations are] high every year," Pedroia said. "There's not a year that you come into camp and your goal isn't to win the World Series. If it's not, then you reevaluate the organization. We want to win. We want to win right now. Not just this year, every year. They're always high."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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