Kalish slowly working his way back

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Kalish slowly working his way back

FORT MYERS, Fla. After the major league players who didnt go on Sundays trip to Dunedin to face the Blue Jays finished taking batting practice on the Jet Blue Park field, Ryan Kalish stepped in. Triple-A Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler fed the pitching machine while hitting coach Gerald Perry looked on.

But Kalish wasnt taking swings like the other hitters had done before him. He was working on bunting. Its one of the things he can do for now, while he recovers from off-season surgeries on his neck, in September, and left, throwing, shoulder, in November.

Hed like to swing away, though, for what it would signify.

Oh, of course, sure, Kalish said. But this is just something I can do right now and occupy my mind and get better at something in my game.

Kalish has been swinging, but it has been at a ball on a tee.

Weve only swung about four times, so far, he said. But were getting there. Its just a slow process but its necessary to be that way. Patience is the best thing right now.

Actually Im not really holding back when swinging. Just free. Swinging is starting to feel better. My swing is definitely coming along a little bit. Obviously, its been seven months. At this point its just getting the feel, seeing how it feels and thats it. So were getting there.

Kalish, who turns 24 on Wednesday, made his big league debut but was limited to just 24 minor league games last season, without a big league appearance, limited by injuries. It was hoped he would be in the Sox outfield mix this season, but is not expected to be ready before June.

Kalish, though, is not focusing on dates or deadlines.

Its not up to me, and I dont really ask, he said. I just do what they say day by day because thats just the way I feel, like its better to look at one day at a time rather than knowing what you have going one ahead. Im sure if I wanted to know I could. But id rather go day by day and take it step by step rather than what Ive been doing, looking ahead. it doesnt work too well.

Kalish is satisfied with the progress of his rehab. But hes also looking forward to its end.

Things are getting better for sure. Thats a definite. So Im happy, he said.

I just want to play. its been too long. its been so long. Thats where Im at mentally. I just want to play.

Every once in a while he notices a twinge in his neck and shoulder. Thats to be expected. But compared to last season, its much better.

Its great, he said. Every days a new day and sometimes I feel it. But thats just to be expected at this point. Sometimes you have a little kink here or a little kink there. But its just part of the daily routine. its a grind, but were getting there.

I run around, catch, throw. Im throwing on a program. Im doing everything. Its just a matter of time before we build up.

His throwing program is slow, he said. Hes throwing from about 60 feet now.

Its good, though, he said. And every day I throw it feels a little bit better, a little bit stronger. So, starting to get my arm back which is nice to know that I think eventually Ill have my full strength back.

Kalish, who had a very strong outfield arm before the injury, is confident that will return when hes back to full health. But, if it doesnt . . .

Ill deal with it, he said. Its just part of life. Thats it. So if it happens, it happens. But I think over time -- I dont know what my arm will be like this year. Ive heard from people that have had this its not always that year. Youll probably have the year after when you feel really good. So well see. Just take it step by step. I just want to play.

One of the people hes talked to about his situation is Jason Varitek.

He told me that last season, just as far as things go, and maybe people that hes known, Kalish said. We were together and we were talking about. And he goes, Hey, you might feel like this. But he was just giving me some friendly words of advice.

Sox minor leaguer Ryan Westmoreland has had it. Hes told me, My arm hurt for a year. But obviously I think his surgery was a little bit more complex than mine. So Im just going to keep working through it and if it hurts, it hurts.

Its just working out scar tissue. But its one of those things. Like I threw earlier today and felt it during it a little. But its just scar tissue and now I cant tell at all that I even threw. So its fine.

Kalish has been here since the beginning of the year. He hasnt received his release from Fort Myers yet. When camp breaks in a little over a week, hell stay behind, continuing his rehab process. He knows its just a matter of time before he heads north.

Thatll come, he said. l hope itll be sooner rather than later.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.