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Victorino eager to get back, but won't rush

Over the flu, outfielder to start stepping up rehab on right hamstring
MLB.com

BOSTON -- Even though Shane Victorino is still idled with a right hamstring strain, he was pleased to simply be able to put his uniform on for pregame activities Wednesday and start ramping up his rehab program.

This was not possible last week, when Victorino had such a bad case of the flu that he was essentially put in quarantine so there would be no risk of spreading the sickness to his teammates.

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BOSTON -- Even though Shane Victorino is still idled with a right hamstring strain, he was pleased to simply be able to put his uniform on for pregame activities Wednesday and start ramping up his rehab program.

This was not possible last week, when Victorino had such a bad case of the flu that he was essentially put in quarantine so there would be no risk of spreading the sickness to his teammates.

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"I feel good. I'm just glad to be out of bed," Victorino said. "It was a tough week. It was frustrating to be away from the guys and not being around. I think it's a matter of not getting anybody else sick. I think that was very important from the doctors' standpoint, to stand away from the team.

"But I've definitely watched them, watched everybody, watched every single game, every inning, every out. As I said, it's nice to be back today without wearing a mask around the clubhouse and not spreading what I had. In that regard it feels good to be back out here."

The right fielder does feel improvement in his leg, though the next few days will give him a better idea of where he is at.

"I haven't done enough to really tell myself [where I'm at]," Victorino said. "I did some jogging, that felt fine. But then again it is jogging and the game is my legs. It's important for me to understand that and not want to rush to get it back. I want to get it back as quick as I can. I know I'm able to come off soon, but having the flu the set me back a few days. We're going to set out to get back on time if everything goes accordingly, hopefully that works out the way we wanted to."

The first game Victorino would be eligible to play in would be April 15 in Chicago, but that is probably unrealistic.

Victorino thinks he would only need a minimum amount of games in a Minor League rehab assignment, perhaps two to three days so he can progress from five to seven to nine innings.

After taking a conservative approach in Spring Training so he could strengthen the areas that nagged him last year, it was disheartening for Victorino to suffer what he described as a freak injury in his final game in Fort Myers.

"I mean, honestly, we did everything we could possibly do," Victorino said. "That was one of those freak things. We had nothing, no complaints from that side with the hamstring. I've hurt it in the past, but it never bothered me, nothing was going on there. It just randomly came out of nowhere. That was, as I said, the part that was frustrating.

"But we're going to continue to work every day, strengthening the surrounding areas, my back, my core, my legs, and hopefully these things, knock on wood, we got it all out of the way and I can go into the season and when I get back out there and ride out into the sunset and be healthy the rest of the season."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

 

Boston Red Sox, Shane Victorino