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Souza close to resuming full activities

Outfielder says he is pain-free following left intercostal strain
MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. has been nursing an intercostal injury on his left side for the past week. He told reporters on Friday that he is pain-free and hopes to be back to full activity by early next week.

"I feel really good today, really good," Souza said. "I'm not too far away, but again, at the same time, we're going to be really careful. There's no point in going all out or trying to rush it for a Spring Training game. So we're just going to make sure I'm 100 pecent ready.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. has been nursing an intercostal injury on his left side for the past week. He told reporters on Friday that he is pain-free and hopes to be back to full activity by early next week.

"I feel really good today, really good," Souza said. "I'm not too far away, but again, at the same time, we're going to be really careful. There's no point in going all out or trying to rush it for a Spring Training game. So we're just going to make sure I'm 100 pecent ready.

"I'm going to start to build up and do some things and when they feel I'm ready, I'm going to get out there and get after it."

Friday was also the Rays' first full-squad workout, but Souza showed to camp early and felt some pain while swinging last week.

"I woke up today and even last night, it really started to all go away," Souza said. "It's definitely gotten better day by day. But today and yesterday it's been kind of gone. I would say next week there's a good chance I'll be back on the field with everyone."

Video: TB@TOR: Souza Jr. plates two, advances on error

Souza has been shut down from full activity for almost a week.

"We'll start doing some rotation stuff today or tomorrow, I'm not sure," Souza said. "And if there's no roadblocks we'll go ahead."

While limited to no activity, Souza has been busy standing in the batter's box while pitchers throw. He's expected to be standing in again on Friday.

"I'll be in there today in live BP," Souza said. "Hopefully I don't get hit in the intercostal facing Arch [Chris Archer]. Hopefully that slider breaks like it's supposed to, and I'll be OK."

Souza smiled when asked if the pitchers are a tad more cocky when they know he won't be swinging.

"Probably," Souza said. "Arch, maybe not. He wants you to swing, so he knows he's got that edge. But it's been really helpful to stand in and watch those pens and really to time the pitches."

Souza allowed that a player doesn't want to miss any time.

"But like I said, if this were a week before Opening Day, I'd be extremely frustrated," Souza said. "But this is Day 1 today, and I'm seven days into this. It's not too frustrating. Just take it one day at a time and hopefully, probably, end up with the same amount of Spring Training at-bats that I would."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Steven Souza Jr.