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Adrian Gonzalez: 'I'll be ready for Opening Day'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 9, 2011 05:55 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. ó Adrian Gonzalez carried only his glove onto the field today. After having surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder after last season, he's able to throw, catch and field grounders at first base. But hitting is still a few weeks away.

"I would assume Iím ahead of schedule. I just didnít know if itís a couple of days or a week," he said.

Gonzalez has been consulting regularly with his surgeon, the well-respected Dr. David Altchek, to get a better sense of when he should start swinging a bat. For now, he's working on his range of motion and strength. Once formal workouts start next week, he'll do everything but swing.

The tentative plan, Sox officials have said, is for Gonzalez to be swinging a bat around March 1.

"I can't give you a day," he said. "All I know is Iíll be ready for Opening Day."

Gonzo also touched on some other topics:

His contract extension talks: "We donít have any deadline or anything like that. When Iím healthy and they see that I'm healthy and we all decide to sit down and talk about something, then that's what we'll do at that point. There's no rush for anything right now. The main thing is for me to get healthy."

(While the sides are not believed to have a formal deal in place, sources have said the Red Sox have the parameters of a contract extension in place and would not have made the trade for Gonzalez otherwise.)

Steve Silva / Boston.com
Gonzo took the field in Fort Myers today.
On taking No. 28: Gonzalez spoke to Mike Cameron about getting No. 23, his number with the Padres. But he decided against it.

"I really didn't want 23. It was a number that was given to me in San Diego; I never picked it or anything. I don't really hold anything to any kind of number."

Gonzalez considered 28 or 29 and went with 28 after doing some research into religious numerology. According to Gonzalez, 28 represents "God's divine courage and strength."

Gonzalez said he has not spoken to any of the Red Sox player outside of Kevin Youkilis, who called to invite him to a charity event. His contact with Terry Francona, he said, has been minimal. He has never spoken to Carl Crawford beyond the standard chatter at first base when the Padres played the Rays.

"I'll be getting to know everybody soon enough," he said.

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