Bagwell due in camp after winter of debate over health

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Jeff Bagwell is to make his
much-anticipated arrival at Houston Astros' training camp on
Friday, the day of the team's first full-squad workout.

The 37-year-old Bagwell has put himself through a rigorous
training regimen this offseason trying to rehabilitate his
surgically repaired right shoulder. The four-time All-Star first
baseman wants to play at least one more season, but the Astros
argue that he's too hurt to play and filed an insurance claim in

Bagwell is guaranteed $17 million this season. By filing the
claim, the Astros can recoup $15.6 million if he retires or is
deemed disabled.

Astros manager Phil Garner said Wednesday he wasn't looking to
see any immediate proof that Bagwell was ready.

"Just get the uniform on, come out, take a few ground balls,
swing the bat, just like anybody else," Garner said. "I don't,
for the first four or five days, look for guys to be going

Bagwell missed 115 games last season after surgery on his right
shoulder, which has bothered him for four years. He returned late
in the season and could bat, but he couldn't throw. He went 1-for-8
with an RBI and a run scored in the World Series.

Garner assumes, but isn't sure, that Bagwell will be able to
participate in Friday's drills.

"I reserve the right to say that might change as we see what
program the doctor wants to have him on," Garner said. "But I am
under the assumption and I believe that's what we'll be able to do
-- he'll be on the field, he'll be taking batting practice. When he
starts throwing or how he's going to do that, I don't know that
yet. I think everything else is A-OK."

Garner said Bagwell's arrival won't turn into a sideshow.

"It's not a distraction, nor is it a negative factor," Garner