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John Danks says left shoulder feels fine day after first bullpen session

John Danks

John Danks

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Updated: March 17, 2013 6:47PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Left-hander John Danks was in good spirits Friday, the day after his first bullpen session of training camp.

‘‘I was able to get through an
upper-body workout, so I guess that’s a good sign,’’ said Danks, who then went out and played catched and took part in fielding practice.

Everything felt great for Danks, who started for the Sox on Opening Day last season but hasn’t pitched in a game since late May and had surgery on his left shoulder in
August. While battling through shoulder problems last season, Danks would feel good on the mound, only to deal with issues the next day. So Friday was a small but good step forward.

‘‘Yeah, one of the biggest problems before surgery was the ability to bounce back,’’ Danks said. ‘‘It’s just another level, being able to bounce back and fit in again.’’

Danks will throw off the mound again Sunday. It’s early, but manager Robin Ventura said he isn’t ruling out the possibility of Danks breaking camp with the team.

‘‘It’s about being diligent, about
being honest and going in with [trainer] Herm [Schneider] and treating him properly and doing all the things and taking care of him,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘But if he’s ready to pitch, he’s a pitcher. You let him pitch.’’

NOTES: As usual at this time of year, second baseman Gordon Beckham looks strong and slightly bigger than he did after his gradual weight loss through last season.

‘‘I wanted to have ‘being strong’ checked off the list when I got here,’’ Beckham said.

Beckham weighs 200 pounds now, but he likely will be down to 190 pounds or less by August.

‘‘It feels like a shell of what you feel like now,’’ Beckham said of the dog days of late summer. ‘‘Your body gets tired real easy. Just not good.’’

Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, who finished last season at 240 pounds, is about 20 pounds lighter. Thornton said he made a lifestyle change that becomes necessary at 36. He also said he thought there was less life on his pitches on the second days of back-to-back outings late last season.

‘‘Late in the season, I had trouble bouncing back after I pitched in a game,’’ Thornton said.

† Catcher Hector Gimenez went through his first day of camp after being delayed by visa problems. The Sox liked what they saw in the 30-year-old switch hitter when he went 5-for-11 in September after batting .259 at Class AAA Charlotte. Gimenez also can play the outfield.

‘‘He has quality at-bats,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He knows how to play. He’s a good receiver behind the plate. That’s something he really showed us last year.’’

† Designated hitter Adam Dunn, the father of a new baby girl, made a brief appearance at his locker, exchanging pleasantries and hugs with teammates. Dunn will meet the press Sunday, the first full-squad workout day.

† Thornton declined an invitation to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

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