'Lot of work to be done' once Schilling out of boot

While David Wells returns to the Red Sox rotation on Wednesday, teammate Curt Schilling remains sidelined.

Schilling, who hasn't pitched in nearly a month, remains in a removable plastic cast to stabilize his ankle and a timeline for his return is still uncertain.

"I've had a boot on for the past couple of weeks, so my ankle isn't getting any stronger," Schilling said on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan radio show on Monday, according to the Boston Herald. "It was weak when I hurt it to begin with. So I'm not going back out there until it's strong, if not stronger than it was.

"How we can do that, and how quickly we can do that, is going to be the big question. There's some discomfort, but nothing like there was. I'm throwing with my short boot on as best I can to keep the arm as best I can so there's a lot less lag time between being ready [to come out of the boot] next week and getting out there and pitching."

Schilling will be in the boot until at least Friday, for a total of 3 1/2 weeks, where as Wells, who suffered a sprained plantar fascia ligament in his right foot, was in a similar cast for just two weeks and then needed nine days to return to pitching condition. That would suggest that the earliest Schilling could return would be the very end of May or beginning of June.

"I'm hoping that we're near being out of it, but there's a lot of work to be done once I get out of the boot," Schilling said on the radio. "You think about some of the basic concepts of what's happening, what's going to happen going forward."

Schilling, who is due to be reevaluated in Boston on Friday, has been throwing in the boot since May 5. However, manager Terry Francona told the Herald the rest of Schilling's rehab activity has been restricted to simulation work indoors.

"It felt better last week, which was an improvement," Schilling said. "I feel almost like [the] meaningless one because I'm not out there yet."

Schilling has been traveling with the Red Sox and doing his rehab work on the road.