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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia in Florida told The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey that if all goes he well, he’s aiming to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on May 12, ahead of a potential May 25 return to the majors. Pedroia underwent surgery on his left knee in October, and was expected to miss the first two months of the season.

“He’s in the beginning of the spring training process. He just played Boston College. Three innings and one at-bat. … People think it’s only the knee, but now that he’s moving around and doing all this stuff, it’s all the soreness that comes into the equation. I think Jason [Varitek] always said you can workout all you want in the offseason and do everything, but you can’t prepare for standing up for three hours in spikes.

“Now, that is part of his process. He’s moving around, standing up the whole time, playing in games, hopefully more innings, obviously. There’s going to be some soreness and we have to see how he reacts to it. Not only his knee, but obviously his hamstrings and everything. Like I told Pedey, I said, ‘Pedey, man, when you get here it’s full-go.’ We’ll have to be patient.”

Call it a flexible timeline, perhaps? A rough sketch, if you will? No matter the nomenclature, be it May 25 or May 32, Pedroia’s return appears roughly a month away — and in line with what was said when he went for the operation in the fall.

“The future is bright,” Cora said. “I was watching and just thinking about what can happen next year. It was fun to watch. And at the same time, when everything was over, kind of like, it hit me: it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s just us now.’ I guess the season starts today.”

“I think everybody gave up on them after opening night when [Gordon] Hayward goes down and people just wrote them off,” Cora said. “And then when Kyrie [Irving] went down, that was [supposed to be] it. And you know, just listening to Brad [Stevens] and listening to players, the learning process, it seems like on a daily basis, regardless of the results throughout the season and through the playoffs, they keep teaching the game. Something that we do feel we have to do here. Sometimes, most of the time we take some of these guys for granted.

“You could start looking around, Xander [Bogaerts] gets called up to be a part of a team that won the World Series, skipping a few steps of development. Andrew [Benintendi] the same thing, [Rafael] Devers the same thing. That was something we were talking about the other day, like on a daily basis: regardless of how good these players are, you got to teach them. It’s not only on-the-field stuff, it’s about preparation. What to look [for] on video, what to look [for] in the numbers, structure as far as preparation. That’s something Brad did throughout the season.”

“I saw him after Game 7 after they beat the Bucks, saw him after the game and talked a little bit about how proud he is, the way the guys are playing, that hopefully it takes him a while before he starts coming to [Red Sox] games,” Cora said. “But just watching him and the way he goes about his business, it’s fun to watch. Everybody here, we’re lucky. We’re lucky … if you’re a sports fan and live here in Boston. This is fun: the Patriots, Bruins, the Celtics, our team. It’s cool.”

“I was telling Xander, and Xander said, ‘He’s doing it by himself,’” Cora said. “And I said, ‘Well, Xander early in [Michael] Jordan’s career, it was that way, but the teams [James] played against, they were a lot better. … Although he scored 65, it was hard for him to win games, win series. And eight finals in a row? Regardless of [whether] it’s in Miami with those guys, with Dwayne and Ray [Allen] and those guys, or Cleveland with Kyrie, or by himself, it’s special. We’re lucky to see what he’s doing.

“The preparation, what it takes to go out there and play the whole game. It’s funny, I was watching and Tyronn [Lue] tried to take him out and he’s like, ‘No, I’m good.’ Then the TV timeout, and the timeout they called — I think that was huge right there, you could see it. It was fun to watch.”

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