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Andrew Bailey in good spirits following shoulder surgery

08.27.13 at 6:50 pm ET
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Slimmed down and on the mend, Andrew Bailey was back in the Red Sox clubhouse Tuesday afternoon ‘€” and pretty happy at that.

The right-handed reliever, who lost his closing job before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in July, is with the team for the first time in more than a month and will spend the nine-game homestand, which starts Tuesday with the series opener against the Orioles, in Boston.

‘€œIt’€™ll be good to be around the game again, be around the guys and just get me out of the house,’€ Bailey said, cracking a slight smile.

According to Bailey, all is well five weeks into his rehab following surgery last month to repair his torn labrum and torn capsule. Dr. David Altchek ‘€œwas able to do everything he wanted to,’€ which included cleaning up Bailey’€™s rotator cuff, and the hurler is now attending physical therapy as he seeks to regain his range of motion.

Bailey has spent much of his time since the surgery bouncing between New York City for therapy and his home in Madison, Conn., which is about two hours from both Boston and New York City.

Bailey ‘€” listed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds ‘€” is also noticeably trimmer since he last pitched, something he attributes to watching what he eats while also regularly going for post-dinner walks. Walking was one of the only ways he could exercise in the first few weeks after surgery.

‘€œIt’€™s been five weeks now, and just being uncomfortable for the first week or so was pretty difficult physically,’€ Bailey said. ‘€œThen you get tired of watching the games on TV and rooting for your guys and you want to be there and you go through that.

‘€œI’€™m in a positive frame of mind and looking forward to having a nice progression.’€

That progression, though, will be a long one. Bailey is shooting to rejoin the Red Sox by July 2014.

In the meantime, he’€™s content to be back with the team and enjoy the work of his fellow relievers, particularly Koji Uehara, who has been dominant since replacing Bailey as closer.

‘€œHe’€™s been phenomenal,’€ Bailey said. ‘€œYou look at what we had at the beginning of the season to where they’€™re at now, and the guys have been picking us up. ‘€¦ If it wasn’€™t for Koji, the bullpen could’€™ve been really bad. He’€™s really held it together all year, and he picked me up when I was struggling. Guys have their up-and-down spells, and Koji just keeps on coasting. He’€™s a name down there that you can call anytime and know what you’€™re going to get.’€

Read More: Andrew Bailey, Koji Uehara,
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