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Hafner says he's on schedule to start Opening Day

By sstorm Published: January 15, 2009

Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner met with local media Thursday afternoon in the Tribe locker room at Progressive Field to give an update on his health status since having offseason surgery to clean out his right shoulder.
The slimmed-down Hafner was in good spirits while discussing how he lost 10 pounds and how well his rehab schedule is going.
Hafner, who has not swung a bat since the end of last seson, said he will begin a hitting program next week when he arrives at the club's new spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz.
"It feels like I haven't played for so long, I'm excited to get back out there and play again," he said.

Here's some of the topics the left-handed slugger talked about:

On his right shoulder's progress:
"It feels good," he said. "I'm a little ahead of, or right on schedule where I should be. I'm excited to start my hitting program next week when I get to Arizona."

On slimming down 10 pounds to 240:
"I've lost about 10 pounds just by eating well," he said. "I knew I wasn't going to be able to do anything for about a month after surgery, so I just started eating better."

On the front office's offseason player acquisitions:
"I thought they made some great moves," Hafner said. "Getting (pitcher) Kerry Wood as the closer, it'll be nice having him at the the back end of the bullpen with the stuff he has. And (third baseman) Mark DeRosa, from everything I've heard he's a great teammate and a solid all-around player."

On details of his hitting program:
"I think it's typically like three days of dry swings, three days of the tee, three days of soft toss and three days of (batting practice)," Hafner said. "You'll hit one day, then take a day off, so it's like a week for each level."

On the Indians new Spring Training complex in Goodyear, Ariz.:
"I haven't been there yet, but I've heard nothing but good things about it. There's probably no reason not to go down early with the weather here," Hafner said with a smile and chuckle.

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