Red Sox pleased with progress by Miller, Schilling

Updated: February 25, 2005, 3:16 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Curt Schilling felt fine one day after throwing off a mound for the first time since his November ankle surgery.

Curt Schilling

Schilling, who had the torn sheath that surrounds his right ankle tendon repaired, threw 47 pitches on Thursday and is to throw off a mound again on Saturday. Manager Terry Francona said Schilling felt "no ill effects.''

Wade Miller, signed as a free agent during the offseason, threw 180-foot tosses for the second day in a row, putting him ahead of his manager's expectations.

"He's pushing getting to the mound,'' Francona said. "I don't think any of us quite thought he'd be ready to do that yet.''

Miller, who has spent all six of his major league seasons with Houston, missed about half of last year with a frayed right rotator cuff and didn't throw off a mound at all during the offseason.

"He's doing so well,'' Francona said. "We'll let him bounce back tomorrow, see where he's at. He might go back and long toss one more time. He may not. We just don't know. It will not be a setback if he's not on the mound. We just don't know quite what we think is in his best interest yet.''

Miller has been working out in Fort Myers since the beginning of the month. Francona said the difference is "night and day,'' compared to where he was when the manager came to town on Feb. 11.

"I think he is buying into the program that's going to strengthen his arm and get him where he needs to be,'' Francona said.

The Red Sox had a short practice Friday, taking batting practice indoors and reviewing hitting signs because of a morning rainstorm. Many players left the minor league complex just after noon to attend a charity golf event.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press