BOSTON -- Shane Victorino was back in the Red Sox clubhouse on Wednesday, hanging around his teammates, smiling wide.
Since he was stricken with the flu last week, Victorino has been kept away from the team so as not to spread his germs, coming to Fenway to get treatment but staying away from anyone he may infect. When he was around, he said he wore a mask as a precaution.
Now over his illness, the right fielder is able to be around other players and coaches. He also began baseball activities on Wednesday, jogging, cutting, playing catch from 120 feet, and getting some swings -- from both sides of the plate -- in the cage.
It's the start of a slow progression to get Victorino back in playing shape. He hit the 15-day disabled list just before the start of the regular season with a strained hamstring.
"[Victorino] is on the field today with some ground-based conditioning work," manager John Farrell said. "(His) baseball activity will start to ramp up over the weekend.''
Victorino acknowledged that his workouts were impeded while he was sick and mentioned that he lost eight-to-12 pounds because of the bug. Though he said he hoped not to spend additional time on the disabled list, there is no set date for his return.
"Timetable, I dunno where we're at," he said. "I want to get back as fast as I can. These last couple of days having the flu didn't help the cause in regards to me getting out and doing baseball activity. But we're gonna take it one day at a time, and it's a step in the right direction, getting out there, jogging, doing some agility stuff and getting physically moving."
After dealing with nagging back, hamstring and thumb injuries last year, Victorino said that it was difficult to start the season injured after working to prevent such ailments.
"Very frustrating," said Victorino, who injured his hamstring just as spring training was wrapping up. "You work and set out in the offseason to do all these kind of things: having the thumb surgery to to try make that feel better; coming into spring training working early on; strengthening the things that nagged us last year. And then to have that happen out of nowhere. The frustrating part is physically I felt good, my hamstring, everything felt good. And then out of nowhere . . ."
Victorino said he's made it known that he would like to play in two or three rehab games to find his timing before making a return to the Red Sox roster.
"I could go and say I'm scheduled to play five innings, or I could be scheduled to play seven. But to me, once I set out and get out there and play games -- five, seven, nine (innings), I'll be back. That's what I told them."