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Adams hopes to be back by Opening Day

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PHILADELPHIA -- A key factor in any potential success for the Phillies this season will be setup man Mike Adams.

The Phils thought Adams would be a valuable piece last season, too, but the veteran struggled until he had right shoulder surgery July 31. His workouts following surgery led to sports hernia surgery in the offseason.

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Adams also had doubts he would return to the mound because of lingering pain in the shoulder. But he said Thursday that the last couple months have been nearly perfect, and he sees no reason why he cannot be ready to pitch by Opening Day.

"I don't see any reason why I wouldn't," Adams said.

Of course, January is a time for optimism.

Adams will not start throwing off a mound until the middle of February -- a month later than normal -- although he believes he needs only about 10 appearances this spring to be ready by Opening Day. But Adams also said he won't rush himself, either. He doesn't want to end up back on the disabled list.

"If it's April 15 or May 1, so be it," Adams said.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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