Dustin Pedroia back on disabled list
Pedroia, who had missed 44 games after fouling a ball off the foot in late June, stood at his locker inside the clubhouse at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon and clearly was disappointed with his latest setback. There had been hope that with him back in the lineup, the club would be able to make a strong push in the American League East standings.
"I'm upset. I let everybody down," Pedroia said. "I can't really do much. I tried. Hopefully it heals up and I'll get back in there."
Pedroia doesn't believe he will need to be shut down for the season at this point, but he's clearly frustrated. "I have to make sure I'm OK," Pedroia added. "If I hurt myself bad, not only could it mess me up for next year, it can mess me up for my career. Hopefully I don't do that."
When Pedroia first suffered the injury June 25 in San Francisco, Boston's medical staff put a six-week time frame as a realistic goal for his return. He did everything possible to get healthy and be ready once he was deemed healthy to return. He made it back in seven weeks; however, it's now clear he was rushed back.
He played only two minor league rehab games for Triple-A Pawtucket and never had a CT scan prior to being medically cleared. He returned based on being pain-free and X-rays that showed proper healing.
So what's the timetable now for Pedroia's return?
"When it heals, he'll play," Francona said.
That very well might be next season.
To fill Pedroia's roster spot, infielder Yamaico Navarro was brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket and was active for Friday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Pedroia will continue to receive treatment the next two weeks, but he'll need to be extra cautious.
Because he was experiencing discomfort Thursday, Pedroia was scratched from the lineup and told to check in with the team Friday morning. When he notified manager Terry Francona that he was sore, Pedroia was told to visit team physician Dr. Thomas Gill.
Pedroia had a scan taken, and while it showed there was no further damage to his foot, it also showed that it is still healing, according to Francona. He's at risk for "other things," Francona said, and that's why the organization decided to shut him down.
"The laymen's version is, [the medical staff] tried to press upon him -- a lot -- that if it hurt, he better tell us because you're going to hurt yourself," Francona said. "He did that, and you have to give him some credit. We appreciate him trying to play because he's really good. At the same time, and I know it's hard for good players to be honest, but if he goes out there and hurts it, then we're looking at something we don't want to look at. That's a surgery and things like that."
Pedroia admitted his foot hurts when he walks.
"That's not a good sign," he said. "The best thing to do is not do anything and let it heal."
When he was given medical clearance to play, Pedroia knew a setback like this would be possible. In fact, doctors told him as much.
"It just sucks that it happened," he said. "I thought I would play a couple of days, and if I was sore I would have a day or two off and then be fine. That's really not the way it's working out right now."
At the time he didn't think he was rushing back, but in hindsight maybe he did. "I don't know. Not now," he said. "I was trying to get out there and help us win.
"Over time, it's not going to get better if I kept pounding on it. I have to make sure it's fine," he said.
It just won't end for the Red Sox with all the injuries and setbacks this season. Entering Friday's game against the Blue Jays, the Red Sox have 767 man-games lost. Injuries to key players like Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima have all had an impact this season.
"It's an unusual high number of injuries to our best players. It's one of those things we have to fight through," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "We've gotten a lot of contributions from a lot of different sources, some unexpected. We've done a lot of good things, but we're not where we need to be. We have to be better."
For the first time, Pedroia is actually showing public disappointment.
"I'm not excited. I want to be out there like everyone," he said. "I want to be out there and help us win. That's part of my problem, was getting out there and hurting myself."
Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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