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Dodgers' Carl Crawford 'confident' in Opening Day return

Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford feels "confident" he'll be ready to go for the start of the regular season.

Jared Wickerham

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford continues to recover from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in August. However, the veteran feels "confident" he'll be ready by Opening Day, reports Ken Gurnick of

Crawford is not far along in his recovery from TJ surgery, but he is throwing from up to 90 feet and hitting off a tee. He hopes to move on to live pitching in the next few days.

While Crawford believes his recovery schedule will prime him to be full-go by the start of the regular season, he's not sure how the Dodgers will use him initially. He feels he's an everyday player, but Los Angeles could ease him back into a regular role.

The Dodgers acquired Crawford and $100 million of his $142 million contract along with fellow veterans Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto last summer from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, James Loney, Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa.

More: Crawford talks elbow, Boston and batting leadoff

Crawford told Gurnick he wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to escape the "toxic" situation he faced in Boston, and he's now hoping for a new start with the Dodgers. In two years with the Red Sox, Crawford struggled to a batting line of .260/.292/.419. However, the 31-year-old owns a career line of .292/.332/.441 over 11 seasons in the majors.