Published On: Thu, Jan 11th, 2018

Pedroia ahead of schedule after surgery, could be ready Opening Day

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BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox reacts in the second inning against the Houston Astros during game three of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 8, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Dustin Pedroia is deeming himself well ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

Initially projected to be sidelined until the end of May, the second baseman now believes he could be ready to take the field with his Boston Red Sox teammates come Opening Day.

“Now I’m getting ready for 162 plus the playoffs. That’s my mindset, and that’s how I feel,” Pedroia told Rob Bradford of WEEI. “My legs are strong again. I’m hoping I get cleared next Wednesday to start running and get after it. That way that leaves me enough time to get to spring training to where I’m a part of it from the get go and that’s all I want.”

Pedroia struggled through knee issues throughout last season, and subsequently required significant surgery to repair his cartilage. The 34-year-old opted for a procedure that had a longer recovery time in order to address the issue long term. He said his legs already feel much better.

“That’s the difference between having my knee fixed,” Pedroia said. “When it wasn’t fixed, I couldn’t hit any milestones. I couldn’t make gains, because physically, my knee was blown out. I could only get to a point to where I could last a four-hour game.”

Pedroia hit .293/.369/.392 with seven home runs and 19 doubles in 105 games last season. He has four years and $56 million remaining on his contract.

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