Richards won’t be ready by Opening Day …

Garrett Richards’ recovery from knee surgery continues to progress steadily, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted what has become increasingly clear on Sunday morning:

Richards will not be ready by Opening Day.

The 26-year-old right-hander, who ruptured his left patellar tendon on Aug. 20, is still about two to three weeks behind the other pitchers, Scioscia said. He’ll throw a 50-pitch bullpen session on Sunday, marking his fifth time off the mound, and will simulate some pitchers’ fielding practice in the outfield – but he’s still at least a week away from being completely unrestricted.

Richards has been targeting a return by Opening Day since he had the surgery and hasn’t backed off that ambition, saying recently, “That’s not going to change, regardless of what anybody in here says.”

Scioscia has spoken to Richards about his more realistic timetable.

“He knows it,” Scioscia said. “He knows it. He’s not going to be able to rush it because our medical staff is not going to let him. There’s a progression. He has to pass every plateau. It’s great that he’s going to shoot for being ready by Opening Day, he’s working very hard to be ready by Opening Day – but he’s not going to be ready Opening Day.”


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