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Grady Sizemore on progress: ‘It’s as good as I could have hoped for’

03.04.14 at 5:49 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Another spring training game, another step in the right direction for Grady Sizemore.

Playing in his third game of the exhibition season, Sizemore executed a variety of tasks in the Red Sox‘ 8-0 loss to the Rays at JetBlue Park. The center fielder finished the day having played five innings in the field, going 0-for-2 with a walk.

Thus far he not only has had no setbacks — this time leading him to play again on Friday. And while performing there has been little signs of rust.

“I’€™m happy with how things are feeling from a body standpoint,” he said. “Just not noticing anything out there. Not having any pain. Not coming in feeling worse the next day. So it’€™s as good as I could have hoped for.”

Sizemore looks to have no hesitation both on the basepaths and in the field. And while he bemoaned the fact the timing at the plate still doesn’t quite feel right, Red Sox manager John Farrell has come away impressed.

“Yeah, you know he’€™s getting down the line well,” Farrell said. “The one thing that continues to impress given his time off is that his timing in the box looks not like a guy that’€™s missed two years. He’€™s running well, he’€™s responding to the workloads, and as we continue to ramp it up he’€™ll be back on the field Friday.”

Sizemore explained that he typically spends an hour to 1 1/2 hours with the medical staff each day, on top of his individual workouts. As he puts it, it is a process that encompasses from “head to toe.”

Yet, even with the solid early returns, the outfielder understands the end-game is a ways off.

“It’€™s weird. I don’€™t feel bad but at times I feel like my body is not catching up with my brain,” Sizemore said. “I want to go faster, but it’€™s not quite there. Or I want to move in this direction, but your legs won’€™t let you. It probably doesn’t look it from the outside, but I can tell things are still a little off.”

As for one of the last hurdles — attempting a stolen base — Farrell said that will have to wait.

“We’€™re holding that in check right now,” said the manager regarding Sizemore’s running game. “We just want to make sure we gradually build through the game situations. There will be a point in time in spring where we want to take that off him but for now we want to continue to build some positives.”

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