Rivera making slow recovery

first_imgInstead of touching the inside if the first-base bag, the pitcher stepped on the outside of the bag and Rivera stepped on his leg. Rivera’s leg snapped at the calf, leaving his foot dangling and pointing in the wrong direction. “I’m 35, 40 percent,” said Rivera, who will spend the next five weeks rehabilitating in Arizona. “I was in Miami and I talked to the doctor and he told me I was (healing) fast.” “A lot of guys have a biological clock,” Scioscia said. “They see opening day come around and they think they have to be ready. You have to take that out of a player’s mentality because you want a guy to be on a mound when he’s ready.” This year’s schedule gives the Angels little wiggle room in the early going to skip a fifth starter. The Angels have just two off days in the first 35 days of the season and they come on April 9 and 19. That means a fifth starter will be needed April 6 against the Oakland Athletics. Because of the April 9 off day, the fifth starter would not be needed again until April 14 at Boston and not again until April 25 at home against the Detroit Tigers. The Angels will have an intrasquad game today in preparation for Thursday’s Cactus League opener. John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar are among 12 pitchers that will be used. Scioscia said of the regular position players, only Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero are not expected to get an at-bat. “They don’t need it,” Scioscia said. “They will get plenty of work moving forward.” The Angels worked on cut-offs and relay throws, which allowed new starters Gary Matthews Jr. in center and Howie Kendrick at second to get used to each other. “There are some adjustments that certainly Howie is going to have to make with Vlad’s arm and the way Gary Matthews can throw,” Scioscia said. “This is why you want to do these drills to find the range. The instincts are fine for the infielders. It was a good drill.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TEMPE, Ariz. – Juan Rivera’s initial fears that his career had ended have been subdued, and now he optimistically targets June for a return to action. Rivera, who made his first appearance in camp Monday, broke his left tibia when he ran out a ground ball to first base in a Dec. 22 winter ball game in Venezuela. He said he hit a ground ball to first base and tried to beat the pitcher to the bag. center_img Rivera had been given the OK to walk without crutches, but said his leg ended up being too weak without them. He will give the crutches another week. Early speculation had Rivera returning around the All-Star break in July. Manager Mike Scioscia said he did not have enough information from Rivera’s examinations to predict when his outfielder might return. If Jered Weaver does not get on a mound by the end of this week, it would leave the young right-hander with just four weeks to get in an entire spring of work. Scioscia said he isn’t worried that Weaver won’t be ready at the start of the season. But he also told Weaver not to aim at being ready for the first week, but rather to proceed at a sensible pace. last_img

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