FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As Dustin Pedroia readies for a comeback campaign, the Red Sox second baseman says, in hindsight, he would have handled his knee injury differently.
Pedroia underwent an operation in November 2017 that kept him sidelined for all but three games in the 2018 season. The 35-year-old veteran admitted Friday at JetBlue Park that if he could turn back time, he would decide against the cartilage restoration procedure.
“I wouldn’t have done it,” Pedroia said. “I don’t regret doing it, but looking back and knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it.”
“It’s a complicated surgery,” he continued. “The cartilage in my knee is great now, but the graft is the thing. You’re putting somebody else’s bone in your body.”
After spending the offseason rehabbing his knee in Arizona, Pedroia’s goal is to be good to go as the starting second baseman for Opening Day in Seattle. It’s too early to say whether he’ll be able to take the field, however.
“We haven’t started official workouts yet,” Pedroia said. “I’ll let you know soon. I mean, I’m confident where I’m at right now.”
If Pedroia is ready for Opening Day, manager Alex Cora promised he’d hit leadoff.
“I appreciate him doing that,” Pedroia said. “I think these guys have seen how hard I’ve worked and seen what I’m trying to come back from, so to get that opportunity would be cool.”
On Wednesday, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said the team is hopeful Pedroia “will be a 125-game player at this point.”
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