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On comeback trail, Lackey looking mean and lean

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- One of the most striking sights during Spring Training for the Red Sox is the improved physique of John Lackey.

According to manager John Farrell, Lackey lost 17 pounds. But the most important thing the Red Sox are looking for from the righty is better results on the mound.

After missing all of last season following Tommy John surgery, Lackey looks like he could become a good comeback story. He has been sharp in bullpen sessions.

"A good work day today," Farrell said. "Freeness in his delivery, freeness in his arm, staying behind the ball, repeating his delivery, all the things we're looking for right now, he did them quite well. He's in great condition, so the 35-pitch bullpen [session] was not really taxing for him.

"As he's gone through the physicals and the strength testing of the shoulder, all those are consistent. He's more athletic. He has more ability to repeat his delivery, and, honestly, he feels pretty darn good about himself."

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