Pedroia will play brief stint with PawSox

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has been given medical clearance and will begin a brief minor league rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket this weekend.

On the disabled list since June 25 with a fractured left foot, Pedroia will play second base for the PawSox on Saturday and serve as designated hitter on Sunday. He will have Monday off, and if all goes as planned, he will be activated on Tuesday.

"Needless to say he was very excited," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I just got a text that said: 'I'm back.'"

Other news on the rehab front involves catcher Jason Varitek. He participated in some sprinting drills Friday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as he continues to progress from a broken foot.

"The timeline all along has been roughly a week, 10 days, two weeks behind Pedy and he's probably close," Francona said of Varitek's recovery. "I know it can change, but it's been following that pattern the whole way."