Crawford ahead of schedule, eyes opening day

Crawford ahead of schedule, eyes opening day
February 26, 2012, 12:57 am
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FORT MYERS, Fla. Left fielder Carl Crawford is still optimistic if cautiously, so about being in the Red Sox lineup on Opening Day.

Thats the goal of mine to try to be in the lineup for Opening Day, he said after Saturdays workout. Im not sure if thats going to happen or not but thats definitely my goal and definitely what Im working hard to get to.

Crawford is rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist in January.

The wrist is coming along fine, he said. Im about to take a few swings right now and see how that feels. But it definitely feels strong. I just have a little soreness in it at times. But its coming along well.

Swinging a bat was to be the last of the baseball activities he could resume. But he has progressed to taking swings in the batting cage this week.

I started doing that a couple days ago, he said. So thisll be like my third or fourth day swinging. Been getting better every day.

Crawford, who said he is pretty aggressive with his swings, has been taking about 20 to 30 swings each session. The next milestone would be for him to swing on a field.

That could be sooner than I thought originally, said manager Bobby Valentine. And hopefully not so soon that it sets him back any. So were trying to make the time right. Of course weve talked about some absolute time frames. Were not trying to set that out as a public statement right now.

But hes doing well. Hes up to 35 swings at 80 percent. I dont know how you actually do 80 percent, first of all. I never quite got that. I know in quantity what 80 percent is but 80 percent effort Im not real good at. What Im told is hes doing 80 percent, 35 swings.

How realistic is Opening Day for Crawford?

I think it could be realistic, Valentine said. Again, I dont know. I wouldnt doubt it. Talking to Carl I wouldnt doubt many things. He seems very determined.