Red Sox’ Lowell says bruised knee feels better

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell said his bruised left knee feels much better one day after he fouled a pitch off it.

Lowell said that the swelling had gone down on Saturday, but that it’s still difficult to flex his leg after injuring it in the first inning of Friday’s game against the Blue Jays.

“I feel great compared to yesterday,” he said. “The swelling under the kneecap’s a little annoying. I can’t really flex my quad, but I figure it’s gone down probably to about a quarter of what it was yesterday. So I think that’s good.”

Lowell planned to ice the knee and ride a stationary bike.

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Boston manager Terry Francona, with the team in Sarasota to play the Orioles, was unsure when Lowell would play again and said that it was too early to decide if he would need to be put on the disabled list.

Friday and Saturday were to have been Lowell’s first days playing back-to-back games. He got a slow start to spring training after having surgery Dec. 30 to repair a torn radial collateral ligament in his right thumb and is still hindered by the effects of surgery in October 2008 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

Lowell, who lost his starting third base job to offseason acquisition Adrian Beltre, is still hoping he can be ready for the start of the regular season.

“I think it’s a minor setback,” he said. “I think I was looking forward to yesterday and today hittingwise more than any other day because it’s back to back and I would have gotten basically the full at-bats of the game.”

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