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Schilling doesn't think he'll be ready by Opening Day

Red Sox ace says he's about a month behind in healing process

Red Sox ace Curt Schilling said his right ankle isn't recovering from surgery as quickly as he expected and he doesn't think he'll be ready to pitch by Opening Day.

''I'm going to be late, I think, starting the season,'' Schilling told WEEI-AM on Tuesday.

Schilling said he had a cast removed from the ankle over the weekend and learned for the first time that he wouldn't be able to rotate his ankle for four to five weeks. That means he won't be able to resume throwing when he had planned.

''So I'm looking at least another month before I start throwing, which puts me a month behind,'' he said.

Schilling and team officials had expected to be ready by spring training.

The right-hander had surgery on Nov. 9 to repair a ruptured tendon sheath on his ankle. The injury appeared to have ended his season in the middle of Boston's World Series run. But team doctors, in an unprecedented procedure, made a wall of stitches in Schilling's ankle to keep the tendon in place.

Schilling started Game 6 in the ALCS and, with blood seeping through his sock, beat the New York Yankees. Boston eventually won the series.

Schilling didn't elaborate on when he thought he might return and left open the possibility that he might be ready sooner than expected. The Red Sox open at Yankee Stadium on April 4.

''Lots can change once it comes out of a cast and I get going and I know I've been a quick healer,'' he said. ''But as of right now the timetable looks something later than Opening Day.''

If Schilling can’t go, the Red Sox would have to choose between David Wells, Tim Wakefield and Bronson Arroyo as their Opening Day starter. That is, unless the team acquires another starting pitcher between now and then. 

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