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Mike Napoli ready for first game with Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 27, 2013 02:02 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. Mike Napoli went through another base-running drill Wednesday afternoon and pronounced himself ready to play on Friday.

Napoli has been held back in spring training because of a condition in his hips. He has been taking batting practice and going through defensive drills, but most of his running has been in a pool to lessen the impact on his legs.

But Napoli ran the bases eight times on Wednesday. He went from home through first base once, from home and took a turn around first twice, and then want from first to third three times.

He also went from second to the plate, from home to second, and then simulated tagging up and scoring from third.

Napoli hasn't tried sliding. But he won't be restricted from that once he plays.

"I'm just going to play the game. That's the best way to go at it," Napoli said. "If you start worrying about things, that's when you hurt yourself."

The plan is for Napoli to start at first base against the Pirates on Friday night.

Napoli still has yet to feel any pain in his hips despite a condition that restricts blood flow to the area.

"It was my muscles and legs, just getting them in shape," Napoli said. "I haven't thought once about my hips in anything I've done."

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