Nixon has been on DL all season
The right fielder has been on the DL since the start of the season with a slight herniated disk and a strained left quadriceps. The rehabilitation period gave Nixon a chance to reevaluate how he plays the game.
"I've learned not to take my body for granted," Nixon said Tuesday. "I learned there are no guarantees in our lives and I think it is more evident in my life."
He injured his back before the season started and was returned to Fort Myers, Fla., for rehabilitation. During his rehab period, Nixon strained the quadriceps muscle, which sidelined him for six more weeks.
"At the time, we didn't think the quad was that bad of a strain," Nixon said. "It was obviously a lot worse than what I thought it was."
Nixon, who is coming off career highs in batting average (.306) and home runs (28), and drove in 87 runs in 134 games, doesn't expect any lingering problems.
"I feel I can get to the balls on the line, get to balls in the gap and make the plays I need to and do what I need to do on the basepaths," Nixon said.
"Will I be able to go from first to home to score?" Nixon said. "I don't know yet."
Boston manager Terry Francona welcomed Nixon's return as the Red Sox begin a six-game road trip with three games in Colorado.
"I've thrown to him a couple of times," Francona said. "I hesitated throwing him a cutter and he held back for it. He's ready.
"We're happy to have him back," he added. "He'll bat sixth and I told him we want to keep him healthy."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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