BOSTON - Steven Wright played catch for the second straight day without any restrictions or discomfort, an encouraging sign even as the calendar continues to work against his return this season.
"Given where we were three days ago,'' said John Farrell, "this is tremendous progress. He's not feeling anything right now, so we're still on tap for him to go to Fort Myers once this homestand concludes. How concentrated that throwing program can be advanced and maintained, that remains to be seen.
"But the fact that he's got a ball back in his hands, that's the obvious first step. How quick it gets into long-toss and ultimately, off a mound, that's still day-to-day.''
"To just go out there and play catch is huge,'' said Wright. "I threw from 60 feet, maybe 35 pitches. In my mind, I'm just going to take it...not slow, but I want to condition the arm path and muscle memory and get all that going. Once that gets kind of repetitive, then we can start [looking ahead]. Because the strength is there; it's just making sure that everything is functional.''
With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, it would seem unlikely that Wright will pitch before the final day on the schedule, Oct. 2.
Then again, if he continues to make progress, he could put himself in position to contribute in the postseason.
"I would say it's safe to say [the regular season is likely out of the question],’’ Wright said. "There's only so many days left. If everything goes perfectly, there's probably still a chance. But I don't think we're going to push it and risk any more setbacks.
"I wouldn't say yes, but I wouldn't say no. It's one of those things where I'm trying so hard to keep it day-to-day. Last time, I wanted to get back as fast as I could and we cut a lot of corners to do that and then we had a setback. So we've got make sure everything progresses.''