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Pedroia expected back for 2014 opener

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is expected to be ready for Boston's opener at Baltimore on March 31 after surgery Wednesday on his left thumb.

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The operation to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb was performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Scottsdale, Ariz.

''It was the less involved of the two potential procedures,'' Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. ''Good prognosis.''

Pedroia hurt his hand diving into first base on opening day at Yankee Stadium and played the rest of the season with the injury. The 2008 AL MVP appeared in 160 games, batting .301 with 42 doubles and 84 RBIs while helping the Red Sox win the World Series for the second time in his seven-year career.

Cherington said Pedroia likely would be eased into spring training with the idea of building him up to full strength by the time the season starts.

''That's our expectation,'' the GM said. ''We'll know more as we get deeper into the winter on the exact timeframe.''

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