Just breaks my heart...
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Nomar Garciaparra's injured right wrist is making progress, but the two-time defending American League batting champion still does not know when he will be able to play again.
The shortstop's cast was removed and the wrist examined Monday by team physician Dr. Bill Morgan.
Swelling had decreased, although the wrist was stiff, Garciaparra said. He had a new cast put on, and the wrist will be re-examined in a week.
"I was encouraged," Garciaparra said. "Right now we are going in the right direction," but there is no target date for him to get back to work.
He is still hoping to avoid an operation.
"Surgery is always the last resort, and even after surgery there is no guarantee," he said. "We've got to go through this process before going on to any other process."
Garciaparra repeatedly has said he is frustrated watching his teammates play. But resting the wrist is the correct course of action right now, according to Morgan.
"The area is still tender, but improved," Morgan said. "We'll continue with the current course of treatment, which includes casting, medication, and his aerobic workouts."
The split tendon in Garciaparra's wrist has lingered since Sept. 25, 1999, when he was hit by a pitch from Baltimore's Al Reyes.
He is experiencing some discomfort in the wrist, but no pain.
"I can probably hit people with it and it would hurt them more than it would hurt me," he said.
Lou Merloni, Mike Lansing and Craig Grebeck have been playing shortstop in Garciaparra's absence.