Carl Crawford likely to return July 18

7/6/2011 - MLB Carl Crawford Boston Red Sox + more

BOSTON -- Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford will not return prior to the All-Star break and is scheduled to play a few minor league rehab games before rejoining the Red Sox on July 18 in Baltimore.

Crawford, who has been on the disabled list since June 18 with a left hamstring strain, ran the bases for the first time Tuesday.

"He's doing real well, and it's not etched in stone, but I think what we're going to do is wait until the All-Star break and let him go play a couple of games when the break's over and then join us in Baltimore," manager Terry Francona said before Wednesday's game.

That timetable means Crawford will miss the three-game set against his former club, the Rays, in Tampa from July 15-17.

"This is a chance so we don't really mess this up," Francona said. "He actually wanted the [minor league] at-bats."

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.