BOSTON (CBS) — Dustin Pedroia’s long road back to the Red Sox lineup may soon come to an end.

The 35-year-old second baseman, who played in just three games last season due to lingering knee issues, may play in Friday’s exhibition game against the Orioles in Sarasota, Boston manager Alex Cora said on Monday. Pedroia has not seen game action since May 29 last season.

For his part, Pedroia has not been discouraged about his long road back. It’s a road he started traveling during November 2017, when he underwent micro-fracture surgery on his left knee, and one that took a sharp turn last August when he underwent a second arthroscopic procedure.

But Pedroia is nearing the finish line, and didn’t even think it was that big of a deal when he took part in a rigorous hour-long workout down in Fort Myers on Monday. The session was made up of grounders at second, five rounds of batting practice and numerous sprints around the bases, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Pedroia also launched a homer to straight-away centerfield, which he joked he had never done before in batting practice:

“I feel just like I’m preparing for another season. So far, so good,” Pedroia told reporters on Monday. “I feel normal. I don’t want to get too excited. I’m just sticking to the plan and trying to get better every day. That’s it. Today was a great day, but I’ve got to have another one tomorrow.”

We’ll see how he follows up his promising Monday, but for now, it appears there is light at the end of the comeback tunnel for Dustin Pedroia.

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