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Francona: 'Opening Day is not judgment day'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Curt Schilling made progress Saturday in
his second bullpen session of spring training and still could start
on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox.

Manager Terry Francona doesn't think there's any reason to rush
him.

"Opening Day is not judgment day," Francona said after
Schilling's 43-pitch, 13-minute session. "I think he made progress
today. He's certainly not where he wants to be for Opening Day."

Schilling underwent surgery in early November after the Red Sox
beat the New York Yankees in the AL championship series and then
the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game sweep in the World Series.

He won Game 6 of the ALCS and Game 2 of the World Series after a
tendon in his ankle which had been slipping out of place was
sutured to his skin.

In his first bullpen session last Thursday, Schilling threw 47
pitches and said his ankle wasn't causing him pain.

"He's got some work to do," Francona said Saturday. "I guess
Schill is so used to showing up and if he doesn't hit his spots,
he's aggravated. Well, he's not going to hit his spots. His stride
is not going to be consistent. He's got to battle through some
things."

The Red Sox open the season on April 3 against the Yankees in
New York.

On Saturday, Schilling walked without a limp and showed no signs
of discomfort on the mound. Several times, he stopped in mid-motion
as if he were analyzing his delivery. At one point he talked with
Chris Correnti, the team's rehabilitation coordinator.

After his session, he and Francona talked for about five minutes
behind a bullpen mound. Schilling did not talk with reporters
afterward.

"Personally, seeing him on the mound I felt good because I know
we have five weeks until the season," Francona said. "There were
more good pitches than he made last time."

He said Schilling would play catch and long toss Sunday, take
Monday off from throwing, then pitch again off a mound Tuesday.
Several more bullpen sessions are planned before he throws batting
practice to hitters.

David Wells, in his first season with Boston, will not pitch in
any of the first seven games of the exhibition schedule, which
starts next Thursday, Francona said.

"This is just the way he prefers to do it," the manager said.