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Castro comes to camp feeling stronger than ever

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Considering he had more time to work out this offseason, All-Star catcher Jason Castro is coming to camp with his surgically-repaired right knee feeling stronger than it was even a year ago.

"I put in a lot of work this offseason, and I feel like I put myself in a good spot coming back, even better than I was last year," he said.

That's a tremendous sign for Castro, who a year ago at this time said his knee was feeling 100 percent.

"I was able to work out for a longer period this offseason than I ever had," Castro said. "I was back in school pretty much right after the season ended, and I was recovering and doing some rehab stuff. I started my offseason workouts in November, and that's the first time I started that soon. I was able to get to a new point that extra time never allowed me to get to before."

Castro had a cyst in his right knee drained Sept. 3, one day after fouling a ball off the knee, and started consecutive games at designated hitter on Sept. 6-7 in Oakland, going 0-for-9. He later admitted he came back too soon and didn't play again.

He missed the entire 2011 season after injuring his right knee in Spring Training of that year and having surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament. He played in 87 games in 2012, but was on the DL twice for fluid in the knee.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
Read More: Houston Astros, Jason Castro