Theo: Positive steps for 4 injured Sox

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on Friday offered encouraging reports on four Red Sox players who ended the season on the disabled list: Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Pedroia is no longer wearing a protective boot after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured navicular bone in his left foot, Epstein said, echoing news that Pedroia had revealed earlier this week in a radio appearance on Boston sports radio station WEEI. He will not begin running until 12 weeks after surgery, Epstein said, noting a target date of around Dec. 1. Pedroia underwent a CT scan last week with Sox doctors, Epstein said, and there were "signs of really good healing.''

Youkilis, who had surgery in August to repair a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, actually hit for a week, Epstein said, and would have been game-ready had the Red Sox advanced deep into the playoffs. He'll be able to follow a normal offseason conditioning schedule. "He should be able to show up in spring training without any lingering concerns in his hand,'' Epstein said.

Ellsbury, who played in just 18 games last season because of multiple fractured ribs, is working out at the Arizona Performance Institute and is asymptomatic, Epstein said. He, too, should be able to follow his normal offseason routine.

Cameron, who had surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle, has been showing "steady improvement," Epstein said. Members of the Red Sox medical team plan a visit to Cameron next week to assess his progress.

Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.