Carl Crawford injury: Dodgers OF plans for spring training return after surgery

Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford can't swing a bat or throw until January, but is planning a return by spring training after Tommy John surgery in August.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford donned the uniform of his new team for the first time on Friday at Dodger Stadium, in town to be examined by team doctors. Crawford is recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in August, and has set a goal to be ready by spring training.

"I don't think it will affect me too much at the plate. I'll be able to come back faster than a pitcher might," Crawford said. "I'm not able to throw or swing until January. It will be a while before I get to have fun."

Crawford was limited to just 31 games in 2012, and hit .282/.306/.479 with the Red Sox. He was traded to the Dodgers in a nine-player blockbuster deal on Aug. 25. Crawford has five years and $102.5 million remaining on his contract.

"I didn't believe the trade was true at the time. I got so excited, coming to a team playing with other great players. Matt Kemp; I've known Andre Ethier for a while," Crawford said. "From what I hear this is a team that wants to really win the championship, and it's definitely built to do so."

Despite his struggles with the Red Sox, Crawford, 31, is anxious for a fresh start in Los Angeles.

"I'm a competitive guy. I hate to say I failed at something. But you can't win all the time," Crawford said. "I definitely have a lot of baseball left in me. It's good to get a second chance."

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