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Napoli about a week from game action


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The only projected Opening Day starters who weren't scheduled to get any at-bats for the Red Sox during Thursday's college exhibition game against Northeastern University? Mike Napoli and David Ortiz.

Though both sluggers are on a more conservative program this spring for health reasons, they still appear to be on track for Opening Day on April 1 at Yankee Stadium.

Napoli, who has a hip condition called avascular necrosis, could get into a Grapefruit League in roughly a week.

"We're hopeful that Mike will be taking at-bats sometime later next week," said manager John Farrell. "We just want to be sure in Mike's case that the impact in addition to all the defensive work -- we've got to run him through the bases. We've got some running left to do with him, but there's no reason to think that he won't continue to ramp up without any setback."

Ortiz, who is coming off a right Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him for most of the second half in 2012, is coming along a little slower.

"David will maintain the agility program he's on, and that continues to increase in intensity," said Farrell. "Much like with Mike, he'll go through a baserunning progression to be fully cleared. Right now, there's no reason to think that's not going to continue on its path. We don't have a timeframe on that. I would hope it wouldn't be too far behind. The one thing we don't want to do is earmark a date and all of a sudden there's a letdown. We're not at that point yet."

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