Napoli tests hip, runs bases for first time

Napoli tests hip, runs bases for first time
February 24, 2013, 12:30 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – On Sunday morning Mike Napoli took another step in his progression this spring as he deals with avascular necrosis that was diagnosed in both hips this offseason.
 
After batting practice on the main field at Jet Blue Park, Napoli ran the bases for the first time. Without a bat, he stood in the batter’s box, simulated a swing, then ran down the line to first. He repeated the drill, the next time running to first, taking a turn toward second base, and retreating back to first. The next time he ran home to second base.  He did each run several times.
 
Napoli was pleased with the brief workout.  “Everything’s good, perfect,” he said, as he walked off the field, toward the Red Sox clubhouse.
 
And, while it may not seem like much – he was not running at “full bore,” as he pointed out –  it is progress for Napoli, whom the Red Sox signed to a one-year, $5 million contract to play first base after a three-year, $39 million deal fell through when his team physical revealed the hip condition. Up until today, he had been limited to batting practice, some fielding at first base, and agility work.
 
“It felt good, just running,” he said. “Just progress from there. I had a little conversation [with the trainers] about it at the end. I want to get close to that full burst from first to third.
 
“Everything’s good. I’m happy with it. Just move on from there.”
 
Napoli, who turned 31 on Halloween, hopes to be in a game by the end of the week. He was not sure what the progression in his running program would be. With the team in Jupiter today for a game against the Cardinals, he will have to wait until until any conversations can take place or decisions made.
 
He has yet to feel any symptoms of the hip condition and remains optimistic he'll be ready for Opening Day.
 
"It feels good,” he said. “I expect to be fine. I'm just going through the steps of what they want me to do.
 
“I'm fine with it, as long as I'm ready for Opening Day, which I should be easily. It's a long spring. I'll just get myself in shape and get ready to go."
 
Napoli hit 24 home runs last season for the Rangers, had a career-high 30 in 2011, and has 146 in his seven-season career.

He joked that there’s another way to run the bases.
 
“Yeah, you hit it far you don’t [have to run], you can jog,” he said.