FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With his name scheduled to be written into the lineup tomorrow against the Orioles here at City of Palms Park, Mike Lowell is more than ready. "Yeah, absolutely," he said when asked if tomorrow would be a big day for him.
"Feeling really good," he said this morning before workouts at City of Palms. "I did all my sprint work yesterday in spikes, which was I think the last test, and I actually felt better than any other of the sprint days. Practiced things like slowing down, chopping up the steps, kind of rounding the base, having to stop and go back. I think there's more to running the bases than just going forward, so all that felt good. I didn't wake up with any pain."
Because Lowell would prefer to see how his body recovers naturally from the stresses he's putting on it, he has not been taking anti-inflammatory medication this spring. If he had a day that left him sore, he would take a couple of Advil, but nothing more.
"I think it's a great time when I push myself a little further and I get nothing in the morning, like feeling tight or anything like that," he said.
Lowell is expecting to get two to three at bats in tomorrow's game, and then possibly take the field against the Yankees on Friday. One of the biggest tests for him will come with the running. He is having to run slightly differently, though he apparently isn't worried about thinking too much while rounding the bases: "I have plenty of time to think," he said. "I'm really slow, so I have all the time in the world."
"It's getting a lot better," he said, more seriously. "I just feel like one joint is all over the place and the other one is really good. The doctor said that that's normal, that you almost have to concentrate on the mechanics of running a little bit more. It sounds really simple and stupid, but I almost understand it. Just little things, like leaning forward a little bit more on the initial [step]. It's less stress on the hip."
As for Alex Rodriguez, who is also suffering from a labrum tear in his hip, Lowell has been in touch with the Yankees third baseman. The pair exchanged messages, with Rodriguez asking about Dr. Bryan Kelly, the doctor who performed Lowell's surgery in October. Lowell gave Dr. Kelly a positive review, though Rodriguez will have his performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo.