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Lowell better than expected

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 27, 2010 09:10 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Mike Lowell said he "felt great compared to yesterday" a day after suffering a knee contusion after taking a foul ball off his left knee in his first at-bat Friday, but said he would be surprised if he had to start the season on the disabled list.

"The swelling under the knee cap is annoying and I can't flex my quad (all the way), but it's (swelling) a quarter of what it was yesterday."

Lowell said he's fouled plenty of balls off his body parts through the years, but he had trouble recovering from this one and had to come out of the game. Lowell hoped, that after he took a look at the injury that the ball didn't hit the top of the knee which would have been far worse. It didn't.

But the frustrating part for Lowell is that he was scheduled to play back-to-back games and will now miss a lot of valuable at-bats. He feels "the last 8-10 days are important" but it's likely Lowell will miss two or three days before he gets the medical clearance to resume play.

That almost kills his trade value, which was already low to begin with. Lowell said that unless the knee situation hinders him more than he thinks, he doesn't see the DL as an alternative.

"I don't want to be on a phantom DL," he joked.

Asked what his end game would be - to be dealt or stay around as an extra player, Lowell said, "Right now I don't know....I want to get well enough to get into the season." He says what ever happens after that, happens. He said the situation in spring training has not been awkward, but heading into the season he said he'd be in a role he's never had to be in over the last 13 years - coming off the bench. He admits, "I don't know if I'm good at that role."

He said that he knows he has to be ready to play if an injury occurs to Kevin Youkilis or Adrian Beltre, but he certainly doesn't want either to happen. Before the knee bruise he said, "I felt like I was getting there."

He did say he still feels a part of the team and no matter what happens he thinks the Red Sox will be a playoff team.

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