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Reds' Wilson working back from shoulder surgery

2/3/2006 - MLB Paul Wilson Cincinnati Reds + more

CINCINNATI -- Paul Wilson thinks he's on track to play this season as he recovers from surgery to his throwing shoulder.

"Right now, as it stands, we've progressed a whole lot. I'm
really encouraged," Wilson said Friday. "We have goals every
week, and we've been meeting that. If we stay the way we are, I see
no problems. Don't get me wrong -- there are always going to be
setbacks. We're not saying that there won't be."

By the time Reds pitchers and catchers officially report for spring training Feb. 16 in Sarasota, Fla., Wilson will have been working out and throwing for almost a month.

The 32-year-old right-hander made just nine starts last season, going 1-5 with a 7.77 ERA before a June operation to repair a torn rotator cuff and frayed labrum, the ring of cartilage cupping the arm bone that makes the joint stable.

"I know what's expected of me," Wilson said. "It's not like
I'm a young kid anymore; there's responsibilities and there's
obligations not only to me and my family but to this organization
and this team, and I want to live up to that. You put those
pressures, along with trying to get your shoulder back together,
and there's a lot going on."

Wilson called on Reds trainer Mark Mann to help him start
working out at the Reds spring training complex in Sarasota on Jan.
17.

"You want to see everyone come back and do well," Mann said.
"Because of his work ethic and the kind of guy he is, we're all
willing to do everything and anything we can to help get him
ready."

Wilson lost 20 pounds during the offseason.

"We're waiting for baseball strength, and the only way you get
baseball strength is by throwing the baseball every day or every
other day as we're doing," he said.

The operation was the third of Wilson's career, and the second
on his right shoulder. He thinks the injury was due to normal wear
and tear, not faulty mechanics. He's hoping to give the Reds a
better return this season, the second of an $8.2 million, two-year
deal.

"I signed a two-year deal here and got hurt the first year,"
Wilson said. "I beat myself up all the time for that, because I'm
obligated to this organization and this city to help us win ball
games."