Drew unsure when he'll be game-ready

Drew unsure when he'll be game-ready
March 22, 2013, 1:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Stephen Drew may have been cleared to return to baseball activities, but the shortstop is still unsure when he might be ready to get back into game action.
       
Drew has been sidelined since being hit in the helmet with a pitch on March. He returned from seeing concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh Thursday and began baseball activities Wednesday afternoon.
       
"I'm kind of getting back on the road to where I want to be," said Drew. "I never knew what a concussion really was and going through it now, it ain't no fun. You're kind of in limbo out there because you can't really do nothing. Trying to make it better just takes time."
      
Initially, Drew battled vision issues, dizziness and fatigue, but those symptoms are slowly dissipating.
      
"The (faitgue) is going," he said. "Now it's a matter of getting everything back in synch. The symptoms are there a little and we're trying to knock those out as quick as possible. It's come a long way. When I started this, (I thought) it would be two or three days and before too long, it's like, 'Man, what is going on here?'
      
"Now it's just dealing with this and getting the final touches on it. I'll know when I feel right. I know that's the biggest key. When I do, I'll move forward."
      
Drew has resumed workouts and took batting practice in the cage Thursday night and again Friday morning. But he's unsure when he might be cleared to take ground balls and take the next step to getting back on the field.
      
"I wish I could tell you," said Drew. "From two weeks ago, it's a lot better than it was. It's re-assuring that it's healing up and hopefully these symptoms go away sooner than later. The good things is I still feel in good shape. It's no fun going through it."
      
There was speculation Thursday that Drew could be back-dated on the seven-day DL at the start of the season, a timetable that would make him eligible to return to the Sox lineup on April 3, the second game of the season.
      
But Drew couldn't commit to such a schedule.
      
"Like I said, I'll tell you when I'm ready," said Drew. "It's no good for the team or for me to go out there the way I feel now. Iggy (Jose Iglesias) has done a good job, Ciri (Pedro Ciriaco) has done a good job. They've picked up the slack. We've got guys who can take care of it while this is going on and that's a good thing.
      
"You don't want to play around with it. You don't want to rush back and say 'I'm good,' and then a week later, I'm starting to feel these symptoms. That wouldn't be good for nobody . . . I'm looking forward to getting back, but I can't give you a timetable; I wish I could give myself a timetable."
      
Drew said he's experienced great improvement over the last two weeks and even the last couple of days, "but it's just a healing process."
      
Asked how many at-bats he would need for the remainder of the spring training to feel prepared to start the season, Drew was uncertain.
      
"It's kind of weird how baseball is," he said. "In some years, you'll be ready in 10 at-bats; in some years, you need 50 at-bats. It's one of those things."
      
As for the prospect of missing Opening Day with his new team, Drew was philosophical.
      
"It is what it is," said Drew. "I would like to think it just builds character for me. I'm just glad I get to play this game and I'm looking forward to getting back out there with the guys and playing. If it's Opening Day, it's Opening Day; if it's not, these guys are professionals. These guys that are going to play in my spot, they've been there and that's a good feeling for me because these guys have already been out there and know what to do."