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Craig Kimbrel to rejoin Red Sox after daughter's condition improves

John Tomase
March 18, 2018 - 1:48 pm

Craig Kimbrel planned to rejoin the Red Sox in Fort Myers on Sunday after his newborn daughter's condition improved following heart surgery.

Kimbrel left the team nearly three weeks ago to attend to his daughter, Lydia Joy, who was born in November with a heart defect that required surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. She has since needed follow-up surgery.

Speaking in Bradenton before the Red Sox faced the Pirates, manager Alex Cora expressed the team's reaction at Lydia's improvement.

"Yeah, you just get chills thinking about it," Cora said. "The most important thing is that the family is OK with it, so if they're OK with it, we're OK with it. It's a great day for us."

Kimbrel was scheduled to land in Fort Myers on Sunday and he's tentatively slated to throw a live bullpen session on Monday. He has been throwing in Boston under the guidance of Red Sox staff assistant and Babson head coach Matt Noone.

Cora believes Kimbrel will be available to start the season.

"He's throwing live BP tomorrow and we'll go from there," Cora said. "With him it's a different schedule anyway. He'll be ready."

Kimbrel is coming off a dominant season that saw him go 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA and 35 saves. He struck out 126 in 69 innings and finished sixth in the American League Cy Young race.

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