FLORIDA, Puerto Rico -- Carlos Delgado is still recovering from surgery on his left hip but believes it's only a matter of time before he returns to the big leagues.
Exactly how much time is still to be determined.
"If I am healthy, I will find a way," said Delgado on Sunday while visiting the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy. "I know how to play. I don't want to retire. The reason why I put myself through three surgeries in 18 months is because I want to play. Otherwise, I would have just hung it up."
Delgado, 38, had surgery on his left hip, the third hip surgery of his career, last September and has not played in a Major League game since May 10, 2009. He signed a Minor League deal with the Red Sox last August but began feeling discomfort in his hip and had his latest surgery the next month.
As part of his rehabilitation program, Delgado has been swinging a bat and has started a running program. He said he is going to wait until he is completely healthy to make contact with any clubs.
"The rehab is coming along, and I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing," he said. "I would say within the next couple of weeks I will have a better idea of when I'm going to be ready because we are going to start sprinting a little bit and I'm going to take batting practice a little bit more often. Right now, it's every other day or every two days just because you just go gradually into it."
Delgado, who needs 27 home runs to reach the 500-home run mark, is hopeful his job search can begin in earnest next month.
"Ideally, I would want to be ready to go full-speed to start Spring Training, but it is what it is," he said.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.