FORT MYERS, Fla. – What can we expect from Grady Sizemore?
Not even Grady he knows for sure.
Sizemore, 31, missed two seasons and parts of the last four with a variety of knee and back injuries which have left the former five-tool player, two-time Gold Glove winner, and three-time All-Star wondering just how good he still is.
“Just come in and see where I’m at,” said Sizemore, who will wear No. 38 in his comeback attempt.
Sizemore spent more than five hours at the Red Sox complex at Jet Blue Park Sunday morning working mostly with sports medicine coordinator Dan Dyrek.
“I’m happy to be healthy,” Sizemore said. “I’m good to go. There’ll be some things that I’ll be working on this spring trying to get back to 100 percent. I’m in good shape but not necessarily baseball shape, but I’m moving around good. I look forward to getting out there.”
When the Red Sox evaluated Sizemore this winter they felt his speed and explosion were still there after the intricate and serious microfracture knee surgeries he had. He’s had to devote his life to rehabbing, still not knowing whether he’ll be able to make a full recovery or what he’ll be able to do as a player now.
All he knows is he’s going to give it his best shot. And if he should stay healthy all season he could earn as much as $6 million.
Sizemore doesn’t really look at being in a competition with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the center field job, or that he could be replacing Jacoby Ellsbury. If those issues eventually arise, Sizemore would be the happiest man on the planet. Right now, he just wants to determine whether he can play again and when.
“We’ll see,” Sizemore said. “Don’t know if I’ll be ready by the first spring training game, which I think is Feb. 28, but it’ll be close. I’ll be right there. I still need some evaluating to do of myself once I get on the field and start the baseball workouts.”
Read more on Sizemore in tomorrow’s Globe.
• On what was a very quiet day at the camp, new Red Sox setup man Edward Mujica also showed up and threw for a while. The righthanded strike-thrower amassed 37 saves as the Cardinals closer last season before fatigue set in, which cost him his job.
He walked only five batters in 64.2 innings and had an impressive 1.005 WHIP. He also admired the Red Sox from the Cardinals side of the World Series.
“It never crossed my mind to be a Red Sox,” Mujica said. “We did it and I’m excited to be here. I want to throw strikes and get outs in whatever situation they would put me in.”
As for the condition of his right shoulder, he said, “I think I just got a little fatigued. I cant do anything about it. It was their decision not to put me in the game, and to put my numbers into the World Series. I’m 100 percent healthy.”
Mujica also has ties to Sox manager John Farrell from the Cleveland years when Farrell was the farm director. He also knew Torey Lovullo, who was also with the Indians.
“I told my agent that I know a couple of the coaches over there and let’s keep our eye on it,” Mujica said. “I was thrilled when I was able to sign with Boston. They know me well.”
Mujica met with Dyrek Sunday and was told to take it slow.
“We went to the World Series. They don’t want to rush us. But they want to keep an eye on it,” he said.