After surgery, Sox pitcher Lackey ‘feels great’
FORT MYERS, Fla. (WHDH) -- Red Sox pitcher John Lackey is excited to get back to playing ball with his teammates, as full-squad spring training kicked off Friday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.
“Just excited to play baseball again…just excited to be back out there with the boys and getting after it; it’s fun,” Lackey said.
Fun is something Lackey admitted he hasn’t had in a long time on the mound, partly because of the pain he’s felt in his elbow the last few years. But after surgery and rehab, that pain is gone.
“I feel great right now, but things can happen sometimes. But as far as -- I think I put in the effort level and the work this off season to give myself the best chance possible,” Lackey said.
“The fact that he’s in regular turns in the bullpen and not feeling anything physically, it’s almost a fresh start for him from a physical standpoint, but I think when you look at the way he’s committed, and restructured his body,” said John Farrell, Red Sox manager.
Farrell isn’t just talking about Lackey’s elbow; the Sox starter is also a bit svelter this spring, losing nearly 20 pounds.
“I hope it helps, but time will tell. It’s a long season and you don’t -- honestly, you don’t want to get too skinny because you need a little something to make it through,” Lackey said.
With a fresh elbow and a clear mind, Lackey is hoping for a clean slate -- feeling mirrored by the team as a whole.
“A different mix and I think it’s a fresh start and a new coaching staff. A lot of new things around here,” said Lackey. “It feels like one of my first years in the big leagues again. I’m really excited about getting going.”