David Price says sore left elbow 'getting better every day'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Price offered nothing in the way of a timetable for his return to a mound nor specifics on what exactly is wrong with his elbow. But in his first public comments in nine days, the Boston Red Sox left-hander said he's feeling better than he anticipated at this point in his recovery.

"It's been getting better every day," Price said Monday from the Red Sox's spring training facility. "Kind of surprised that it's responded the way that it has. If you asked me a week ago, I'd have said I felt 'OK.' And I feel really good right now. Today's the best it's felt. I don't feel anything in there right now."

Price was still waiting to hear from the team's trainers about his schedule for Monday. But he made light throws into a net for two consecutive days over the weekend and didn't report any of the left elbow soreness that compelled him to undergo an MRI on March 1 or seek a second opinion from two prominent orthopedic surgeons two days later.

According to Price, the swelling that was present in the MRI has been gone since "probably Thursday," when he stopped taking anti-inflammatory medication. And when trainers caught Price throwing a ball against a trampoline last Thursday, he said they "were freaking out" and forced him to take Friday off.

"I'm not a good guy for the DL," said Price, who is almost certain to begin the season on the disabled list. "I'll go stir-crazy. I've got too much energy kind of sitting there. I'm learning some good values on patience right now. It's tough."

Still, Price wasn't ready to commit to a next step or set a date for when he might throw a bullpen session, pitch live batting practice or make a start. He reported soreness after a two-inning simulated game Feb. 28 and has not made a spring training start.

"I got to take it day by day," he said. "If I set a timeline or a date that that I want to pitch in this game or whatever it is, you can have a lot of bad things come from that, I feel like. So this is, I show up, we figure out what we're going to do today, whatever we do today we want to make sure you know I want to be able to bounce back and feel good tomorrow.

"I know when I'll feel good enough to play catch, when I'll feel good enough to get out there or when we need to take a day. We have a ton of trainers in there.

"I feel really good, honestly I didn't think I would feel this way in however many days it's been since I got back. So it's trending in the right direction."

Price said he doesn't have an exact description of his injury because he "shut my brain off" and "went to my little happy place" on March 3 as soon as the second opinions of Drs. James Andrews and Neal ElAttrache confirmed that he wouldn't need surgery or even an injection. Asked about the state of his ulnar collateral ligament, Price said it "feels good to me."

But Price also said the doctors would've recommended surgery if he were younger. Because he's 31 and has rebounded from similar soreness in his elbow and forearm, they determined he would bounce back again without surgical intervention.

"They said if I was 22 or 23, they'd have told me to go have surgery," Price said. "I've gone through this. This is something I feel like happens every spring training. It's those first four to five weeks of spring training that I feel like I go through this every single year, and this year was just a little bit worse. My arm got a little bit more stiff, and that's why we took the precautionary actions that we took. That was the right thing to do."