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Good News from Red Sox Camp


Sitting around in my underwear....

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) The Red Sox got some good news on Monday regarding two rehabbing players that could feature prominently in Boston's World Series title defense in 2005.

Right-hander Wade Miller, who hasn't thrown off a mound since last August as he recovers from a rotator cuff injury, made progress long-tossing from 210 feet and said he expects to throw an abbreviated bullpen session on Tuesday.

''I'm trying to go off a mound tomorrow for maybe 15, 20 throws, just to get a feel,'' said Miller, signed to an incentive-laden deal in December after he went 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts for Houston last season. ''It's going to feel good. Hopefully I can get some control and basically it's just the feel of trying to throw downhill.''

Miller, who chose Boston over as many as seven other clubs when he was non-tendered by the Astros, said he was optimistic about potentially opening the season with the team, but also said he'll adhere to trainer Chris Correnti's rehab schedule.

''They want to take it slow, they don't want to rush me,'' Miller said. ''So in the back of their minds, the safest thing is probably starting the season on the DL and getting some work in down here. As far as I feel right now, I feel pretty good.''

Meanwhile, third baseman Bill Mueller is well ahead of schedule as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

When the surgery was performed on Feb. 10 in Arizona, manager Terry Francona said he hoped to have Mueller back on the field by the second week of March, but Boston's manager said Monday he expects to have Mueller in a Grapefruit League lineup around March 10.

''He's ahead of his own schedule, ahead of the doctor's schedule,'' Francona said.

Mueller performed agility drills for the first time at camp on Monday, and has done everything but run and jump on the knee that forced him to miss five weeks last summer. ''So far so good,'' said Mueller, the 2003 AL batting champ, who said he tweaked the knee diving for a foul ball last August and opted for the late surgery after a winter of caution. ''You have a plan, you put together a workout and you go from each workout to the next. With having so much time, it's easy to be conservative. There's no rush.''