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Friday, June 17, 2005
Schilling tests ankle by throwing for 20 minutes

Associated Press

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox right-hander Curt Schilling threw for 20 minutes at Fenway Park on Friday and reported no problems with the right ankle that has kept him on the disabled list since April.

Schilling is scheduled to test his ankle again by throwing batting practice on Monday. He said he expects to make at least two minor-league rehab starts before he is ready to return to the Red Sox's rotation.

"I have a goal -- I want to be back before the All-Star break," he told reporters near the Red Sox's dugout before Boston's game against the Pirates. "It's a matter of arm strength and getting comfortable around that."

Wearing an oversized high-top to help his balance, Schilling threw for nine minutes in the outfield before heading into the Boston bullpen to throw from the mound for 11 minutes more. He was watched by manager Terry Francona, the team's training staff and Dr. Bill Morgan, who used an unusual procedure to stitch Schilling's ankle last fall and keep him in the rotation for the postseason.

The current injury -- a bone bruise -- is in the same ankle but may be a different problem.

"I don't know if it will ever be completely healed," Schilling said. "I don't imagine some of the stuff down there will be 100 percent for a year or so. I don't think it has to be."

Schilling helped Boston earn a wild-card berth in the American League playoffs in 2004, but he injured a tendon in his ankle near the end of the regular season and struggled in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees. After testing the procedure on a cadaver, Morgan made a wall of stitches in Schilling's ankle to keep a tendon in place and he was able to start Game 6.

With blood seeping through his sock, Schilling beat the Yankees, catapulting the Red Sox to an improbable comeback. The procedure was repeated before Game 2 of the World Series, which Boston swept in four games.