Good medical news for Mike Napoli

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Napoli said the results of the MRI he had on Thursday were encouraging and will allow him to start doing defensive drills and more running.

Napoli has avascular necrosis in his hips, a condition that restricts the blood flow to his bones. He said that medication has helped to stem the disease.

“I’m going to start doing a lot more things,” he said this morning. “To actually take the MRI and get the results, it’s good news. … It stayed the same, it didn’t get worse. That’s what we wanted.”

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Napoli will start today taking groundballs at first base this afternoon with coach Brian Butterfield. He’ll be on his knees at first and progress from there. He also will increase the running program he is on. That has been on a modified treadmill.

“I’ll be ready for Opening Day. We just have to take it slow,” Napoli said.