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Souza improving, but will miss Rays' first week of games

Steven Souza Jr. will miss at least the first week of exhibition games.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Steven Souza Jr. will miss at least the first week of exhibition games.

29

February

OF Steven Souza Jr. said the intercostal strain that has sidelined him since Feb. 21 is feeling better and he has started swinging on a limited basis, but he will miss at least the first week of exhibition games.

"I feel great right now and I'm probably ready to go,'' Souza said. "But like I've said the whole time, it's a process. So there is no need to rush it right now.  I think we'll end up with the same amount of at-bats as if I started day one.''

Souza started taking swings in controlled situations on Sunday: "Dry" swings where he uses a short stick and then a regular bat but there is no ball, and "Wet" swinngs where he uses a foam-covered weight in the therapy pool.

"I went deep - in the pool,'' Souza quipped.

Though he will miss the first week of games, Souza said he doesn't consider it a setback as he starts his second season with the Rays after being limited to 102 games last year due to a series of injuries.

You prepare yourself all off-season and I think I came in pretty prepared. I feel confident I can get back in there,'' Souza said. "Obviously, nobody likes standing on the side but I don't think it will be a setback. It's definitely a slowdown. And it's going to be a blessing in disguise, I think, to slow down and get back in there and take my time.''

[Last modified: Monday, February 29, 2016 11:53am]

    

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