Pitcher won't be ready until May

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wade Miller expects to miss the first
month of the season with the Boston Red Sox while he rehabilitates
from a shoulder injury.

He spent the last three months of last season on the disabled
list with Houston, and the Red Sox -- hoping Miller could improve a
rotation that lost Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe -- signed him as a
free agent.

"I know I don't want to miss that much time again," Miller
said Wednesday. "So I decided to take it slow now and miss the
beginning of the season and, hopefully, come back for the last five

Early in spring training he hoped he might be ready when the
regular season starts on April 3.

"I don't think that's going to happen now," he said.
"Obviously, I was hoping to make it, but you set a goal and then
it didn't quite happen because of weather or whatnot and it just
didn't work out."

Curt Schilling may not be ready for the start of the season either, but with three off days in the first 10 days of the season, Boston can manage with its other four starters -- David Wells, Matt Clement, Tim Wakefield and Bronson Arroyo.

Miller was a combined 45-25 with Houston before a frayed rotator
cuff in his right shoulder limited him to 15 games last season. He
was 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA.

He said his shoulder feels strong but he's thrown only fastballs
at 80 percent of his top speed and needs to work on his mechanics.
He had planned to pitch off a mound Tuesday, but rain then and
on Wednesday pushed that back to Thursday.

He played catch from about 120 feet Tuesday during a drizzle.

"I feel very good today," Miller said. "I wish it wasn't so
bad outside."