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Boston Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval inching closer to return

By The Sports Xchange
Boston Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval inching closer to return
Boston Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval. UPI/Terry Schmitt | License Photo

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval could return much earlier than expected from shoulder surgery, possibly even before the end of the regular season.

Sandoval, who lost his starting job to Travis Shaw in spring training, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May that was expected to end his season. The 30-year-old is progressing in his rehab and joined the team for batting practice in Tampa Bay on Saturday.

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"At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next spring training," Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters. "We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves, here. But at the same time, compliment him for the work that he's put in. The way he's responded to the rehab. The way he's worked himself back into better condition. So we're staying open-minded."

Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million contract prior to the 2015 season but endured a terrible debut campaign with Boston, batting .245 with 10 home runs.

Shaw is batting .246 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs, but is marred in a 3-for-29 slump over his last 10 games. Brock Holt got the start at third base on Saturday against the Rays.

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