ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Having undergone surgery to repair a herniated disk on Wednesday, Tim Wakefield said yesterday that he expects about a four- to six-week rehab before he begins to get down to his usual offseason program.
"Everything went awesome," Wakefield said yesterday. "The whole procedure went as planned, and even post-op meeting with the surgeon, he said everything went perfect. Didn't see any further damage in there, everything was cleaned up and ready to go."
That should leave Wakefield ready to begin spring training on time. The Sox are expected to pick up Wakefield's one-year option for the 2010 season. (He is on a series of recurring one-year, $4 million options.) They have until just after the World Series to do so.
"It never crossed my mind," Wakefield said, of not returning. "I was fully confident as far as having surgery in the offseason. Once we got to the offseason, I was very ecstatic to get this thing done and get on the other side on the rehab part of it."
It appears that, despite the injuries that curtailed his 2009 season and despite his age (43), Wakefield has no end to his career in sight. He plans to shoot for 200 wins, which would also give him the most all-time in Sox history, a record currently held jointly by Roger Clemens and Cy Young (192). Wakefield finished the year with 175 wins with the Sox.
"Past that, I really can't tell you," Wakefield said. "I'm not planning on getting to that point and retiring, if that's the question you're asking. I still feel like I can contribute. I still feel like I can compete at the highest level, and I'm going to continue to play as long as my body allows me and as long as the Red Sox want me around.
"I do have those goals in mind, and it's something that that's not the only reason why I'm playing. I'm playing because I feel like I can still contribute to us winning a championship."