Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is unable to practice fully, due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. He is expected to remain in the lineup when the team begins postseason play.
Napoli was wearing sneakers during practice on Tuesday and was kept aside from the rest of the team. Unless he is playing in a game, Napoli is avoiding the pain of wearing spikes by donning more comfortable footwear when he is required to be on his feet.
The Red Sox are only allowing Napoli to take a very limited number of ground balls during defensive practice as the injury requires Napoli to regulate his time standing. The pain caused by plantar fasciitis increases the more he is on his feet, so the best way to combat it is to rest.
"I try and tell everyone it feels like I’m stepping on an ice pick," Napoli told reporters. "I have my good days and bad days. When I’m running the bases a lot, the next day I’m going to be sore."
Napoli has been dealing with the pain for much of the second half of the season, but does not believe he will need surgery. He took nearly a week off at the end of September, but returned for Boston's final series of the regular season.
Despite the pain, Napoli has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball the last month and a half. Since Aug. 24, he has hit .333 with a 1186 OPS.