Valentine: Crawford set to swing 'in a day or two'

670518.jpg

Valentine: Crawford set to swing 'in a day or two'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A number of players either sidelined or slowed by injuries are making progress in camp.

This morning, Bobby Valentine provided updates on a handful.

Carl Crawford

After a mandated down period necessitated by a setback to his surgically-repaired left wrist, the outfielder will resume swinging "soon."

"He'll start to swing in a day or two," said Valentine. "Soon, but I don't know (exactly) when that is."

Valentine was unsure how much time Crawford would need before getting into Grapefruit League games.

"I wish I could give you that one," said Valentine. "Talking to Carl, the work that's gone unnoticed is going to pay dividends. He's been religious and conscientious about standing (in) when
pitchers are throwing. He's taken it upon himself to fine one and I think that's going to speed up his timing process."

But Valentine also cautioned that Crawford isn't a "less reps guy. And one of his challenges is to control his practice reps."

Ryan Sweeney.

The outfielder is nursing a sore quad, which first began bothering him Monday in a game against Miami.

"He's probably a day away," said Valentine.

"(Friday), I'll probably start hitting again," said Sweeney. "As far as a timetable for running, I don't know. We'll just see how it is and get that muscle spasm out of there."

Sweeney revealed that his legs had been sore for a few days before Monday and felt it spasm while chasing after a ball in the outfield.

He then tweaked it further in his next at-bat.

Jose Iglesias.

Iglesias suffered a strained groin last week.

"He probably could have played today," said Valentine. "He felt good (Wednesday during a workout), but I told him we were going to give him one more day, just to be sure."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Saltalamacchia is suffering from a sore hip and is out of the lineup Thursday, with catcher Ryan Lavarnway taking over.

Brady, Harbaugh found common ground on plane ride back from Michigan

ravens_john_harbaugh_122113.jpg

Brady, Harbaugh found common ground on plane ride back from Michigan

FOXBORO -- What could have been an awkward plane ride for Tom Brady and John Harbaugh was made less so thanks to a high school lacrosse player. 

Brady and Harbaugh shared a private plane back from Michigan where Jim Harbaugh and his University of Michigan program put on an event for National Signing Day. About a year earlier, Brady told a room full of reporters that Harbaugh and his coaching staff should study the rule book and "figure it out" after hearing that they were pretty upset about the unusual formations the Patriots ran during their AFC Divisional Round win over Baltimore. 

They may not have been on the best of terms.

"I was pissed off," he told ESPN's Ian O'Connor before the start of this season. "It was uncalled for. And the rules are deeper than that, and I know the rules, and I stand by why that play shouldn't have been allowed. ... So yeah, that should never have been said."

But on the flight was Harbaugh's daughter Alison, a high school lacrosse player. When Brady took some time to share a few thoughts on competitiveness with her, he and Harbaugh found common ground.

"We had a lot of fun," Harbaugh said of the flight. "I don't know if he's talked about that at all, but we ended up sharing a plane ride along with my daughter and a couple of his people, friends of his. We just had a chance to just talk for a couple hours. And really more than anything, Alison got a chance to listen to Tom Brady talk about competing and what it takes to be great at what you do.

"And one of the funny things about it was, he was so nice to her. He gets off and they go, and we get back on the plane and we're talking, and she says something like, 'Boy, Tom really is a nice guy.' And I look at here and go, 'Tom?' I'm thinking 'Mr. Brady' would have been more appropriate. She said, 'He said to call me Tom.' I got a kick out of that.

"It was good. Lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for what he's accomplished. He's very tough to compete against. The best quarterback that's played, certainly in this era, without question in my mind. That's how I would rank him. And it's just another tough challenge to have to play against him."

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.