Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford has yet to step on the field at Fenway Park this season after suffering an ulnar collateral ligament strain, but he was expected to come back soon after completing 15 of the allowable 20 days of minor league rehabilitation. His return will be delayed even longer after he suffered a strained groin running out a triple in the minor leagues, the team announced Saturday.
The Red Sox decided to reset his rehab clock, which means he won't be able to appear in a game for five days, then will have another 20 to try to get back to the majors, according to MLB.com. What might be most concerning for Sox fans is Crawford's elbow still isn't completely healed.
"It's not 100 percent healthy, but I'm able to hit," Crawford said Friday, "so I said pretty much whenever I'm able to start hitting the ball and swinging the bat, then I'll play."
Valentine said the elbow is a situation that continues to require monitoring.
"A red flag?" Valentine said when asked if that's what Crawford's characterization of his elbow raised. "You mean a red flag that there's still something in his elbow? I think we have to manage that situation as he plays. And maybe it's just a caution flag."
Crawford's groin strain isn't considered particularly serious — Valentine said it would only require ice and rest — but regardless, the Sox will have to wait a little while longer to get a full outfield, especially since centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury also remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.