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'Tek confident in Mirabelli

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  August 2, 2006 04:54 PM

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Injured Sox catcher Jason Varitek held a press conference at Fenway Park late this afternoon. Below are a few of the comments he made about his knee injury, expected recovery, and his replacement behind the plate.

  • On his return to the team:

    "Hopefully if things go well [with recovery there will] be some time at the end of the year."

  • What happened?:

    "I hurt it at the play at the plate the other day. [I] just had a little swelling, [the] play at the plate against Anaheim, I carried a little swelling it was irritated, I couldn't put pressure on the foot when I came around the bag.

    "[Do I know] if that's what did it? Not positive... Not sure if medical staff knows until they go in."

  • Why have the surgery now?:

    "I think that the placement of it [behind the knee] is what kind of made us all decide to do it now. They didn't feel I could play through it in a limited way because of what we do … back part [of the leg] pinches.

  • Recovery time?:

    "As far as recovery time, I don't know if it's any different because I'm a catcher.

    "My understanding is it's outpatient [surgery]. I'll have it done tomorrow morning and be out mid-afternoon. After the first day, we try to reduce swelling and start working on flexibility, then we start strengthening, course of action in the middle of your baseball stuff and getting ready.

    "I have to deal with it for the first time now. Going to have to put together stuff in the offseason programs to make sure I'm strong and healthy.

    "Your body is going to tell you the timeframe, and how it reacts. Get it taken care of don't want to run into any glitches.

  • On the daily grind of catching:

    "I've always had something bothering me. But that's normal, that's every year. You play my position you're always going to have something throughout the year.

    "I had a pain in the butt all year. It's there, there's a knot but it's not like it was earlier."

  • On his replacement, Doug Mirabelli:

    "Doug knows what he's doing. I'm not going to comment on [Ken] Huckaby either way [because I haven't seen him as much], I know Doug has the confidence to carry this pitching staff. That's going to be the most important thing he can do. No question he can do the job and he'll do the job great."

  • On sticking around the clubhouse:

    "I'm not going to disappear. Dougie and I will continue to communicate… I'll try and help in any way that I can right now.

    "Maybe it was good for us that [Tim Wakefield] went down because Doug has gotten a chance to get some innings with some guys, to get a feel of situations, what he can and can't do. We talked about [Jon] Lester.

    "Doug's view and what he sees in a game on the field, he's very, very good at what he does. He'll maintain that focus to help others."

  • On being taken out of the game after limping:

    "Sometimes it's great to have somebody like that make that decision for you. Tito did that and probably prevented further injury."

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