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Mike Napoli runs bases, might play later in week

FORT MYERS, Fla. ‘€“ Mike Napoli [1] took a few more steps toward getting in a spring training game, executing a series of baserunning drills Sunday morning for the first time since he arrived in camp.

With strength and conditioning coach Pat Sandora and assistant trainer Brad Pearson looking on, Napoli simulated singles and doubles before conferring with the medical staff. Baserunning was perceived as one of the final tests for Napoli, who is being brought along slowly after being diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips.

‘€œIt wasn’€™t a full-go, but it felt good to just run and make the turns,’€ he said.

Napoli surmised that if all goes well — with the first baseman planning to do additional running drills Monday — he could appear in a game later in the week.

‘€œIt feels good. I expect to be fine,’€ he said. ‘€œI’€™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 and I’€™ll just get myself in shape and be ready to go.’€
Napoli also said he expects that he will start by playing first base in the games. ‘€œJust to get my legs in shape out there,’€ he said, reiterating that he didn’€™t know the exact plan.