Monday, February 26, 2001

Larkin strengthening knee

Reds Notebook

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SARASOTA, Fla. — Intent on keeping his surgically repaired left knee sound, shortstop Barry Larkin has maintained his daily lower-body weightlifting exercises.

Barry Larkin talks with Dmitri Young.
(AP photo)
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        “I'll probably taper it down once we start playing (exhibition) games,” said Larkin, who ends each workout in the weight room. Larkin said he also brought more weight equipment from his Orlando home to use at his spring-training residence.

        Larkin, who underwent arthroscopic surgery Sept.8 to repair a sprained medial collateral ligament, won't play in today's intrasquad game, but that's not because he's physically restricted. Veterans rarely tax themselves early in spring training.

        Not only does Larkin expect to participate in Tuesday's simulated game, but he'll also play in Wednesday's exhibition at Rollins College and Thursday's Grapefruit League opener against Cleveland.

        BOONE'S DUE DATE: Manager Bob Boone has penciled in the March 13 exhibition against Toronto as the date when he'll allow his son, third baseman Aaron Boone, to begin playing in games.

        Bob Boone admitted the starting date could be moved ahead.

        “I think I'll be ready way before then,” said Aaron, who has progressed steadily since undergoing left knee surgery Aug.8. “That's a date we set a while ago.”

        Bob Boone reiterated the importance of not rushing Aaron: “We're trying to stay away from (his) needing several days off be cause it's puffy or hurting him. I think he'll probably have some pain in there all year. But we'll see.”

        INTRASQUAD PLANS: Rob Bell, the scheduled starter Wednesday against Rollins, is among 11 pitchers who will work in today's 5 1/2-inning intrasquad game.

        Pete Harnisch, Jim Brower, Dustin Moseley, Mike Grace, Chris Reitsma, Arnie Gooch, Clayton Andrews, John Riedling, Scott Sullivan and Mark Wohlers also will pitch for the teams.

        Infielder Gookie Dawkins is the only position player besides Aaron Boone and Larkin who's not expected to participate. Dawkins, who has practiced lightly while his surgically repaired right knee mends, was sent home Sunday with a bad cough and congestion.

        Tuesday, the pitchers who didn't appear in the intrasquad game will work in a simulated game in which specific situations will be staged. Earlier that day, umpire Mark Hirschbeck will address the Reds to explain this year's strike-zone adjustments.

        ETC.: Riedling and Michael Coleman signed their 2001 contracts, leaving Aaron Boone, Bell, Brower, Jason LaRue, Seth Etherton and Hector Mercado as the only unsigned players.

        • Seven of the Reds' top minor leaguers have reported to camp to begin workouts: outfielder Ben Broussard, catchers Carlton Hahn and Rusty Miller and pitchers Scott Winchester, Jeff Taglienti, Lance Davis and John Curtice.


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