After setback, Crawford still aiming for opening day

After setback, Crawford still aiming for opening day
March 3, 2012, 4:10 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla -- Carl Crawford's setback with his left wrist, suffered earlier this week thanks to overwork, isn't a major concern -- for now.

Crawford was making progress from the surgery he underwent in January, but after taking full swings and following it with a day of bunting drills, Crawford experienced soreness and had to back off his activity.

He was given anti-inflammatory medication and restricted to one-handed swings off a tee.

"It was getting better, then I had a little setback,'' said Crawford. "Right now, I'm just kind of resting a little bit. You're always concerned when you have a little setback, but hopefully, it's just for a few days.''

Crawford's hope is that he's going to be cleared to return to two-hand swings "in the next couple of days.''

"I'm pretty sure what I've been doing in the course of a week -- swinging, then bunting and throwing -- probably didn't make it any better,'' said Crawford. "The bunting was the final thing that took it over the edge and we had to slow it down.''

He blamed himself for trying to do too much, too soon in his rehab effort.

"I was probably pushing it too much,'' he acknowledged. "I probably shouldn't have done as much as I was doing, but it was feeling so good at first that I wanted to keep going and going. Now I know what kind of pace I have to do things at and once the inflammation goes down, I have to not push it as much.''

Asked if being in the lineup for Opening Day was still a possibility, Crawford said: "That's what I'm trying for. That was a definitely a goal of mine, but we'll have to wait and see.''

Crawford said he didn't have any idea how many at-bats he would need in Grapefruit League play to be ready for the opener.

"I just think the more at-bats I can get before I have to actually start playing, (the better),'' he said. "In baseball, you have to get those reps.''

Manager Bobby Valentine, after checking with the training staff, reported Saturday morning that the swelling in Crawford's wrist was down, his range of motion was fine and progress was being made. He'll be cleared to return when "everything is perfect.''