Sandoval says back is 'way, way, way' better

3B still uncertain if he'll be ready for Opening Day

Sandoval says back is 'way, way, way' better

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval said Friday he is feeling "way, way, way better" after injuring his back diving for a ball on Tuesday off the bat of the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton. The Red Sox had their only off-day of the Grapefruit League schedule on Wednesday, and Sandoval has been out of the lineup since the injury.

"It [felt] worse the day after," he said. "So I have to come here no matter what, it was the day off, I came here to check it, see what (the problem was)."

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He was able to throw on Friday and is scheduled to throw and take some groundballs on Saturday.

"Way, way, way better, way better," he said, of how his back felt on Friday. "I thought it was going to be difficult to start doing stuff. [Thursday] I started doing the (rehab) program that we're doing. It start feeling better today."

Asked if he will be ready for Opening Day, he replied:

"I'm going to be where I want to be. I'm just going to keep maintaining, be healthy, try to be healthy, get ready for be playing games."

Sandoval, who said he's never had this type of injury before, said he's not certain if the injury will require a stint on the disabled list.

"It's not my decision," he said. "So I'm just working to get better. So I don't make that decision, so I'm just focused to one day be back on the field."

Manager John Farrell said there are currently no plans to send Sandoval out for tests. After Friday night's 6-3 win over the Pirates, Farrell also said he is hoping to get Sandoval back into a game by the early part of next week.

Sandoval, who is listed as 5-feet-11, 255 pounds, caused some controversy when he reported to camp appearing to be overweight. But the Red Sox said they were not concerned by his weight, and principal owner John Henry said Sandoval's body-fat ratio was 17 percent, down from 21 percent last season.

Travis Shaw, one of the Red Sox's prospects, has had an exceptional spring training, playing first base and third base.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.