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Broken foot puts Pedroia on sidelines

Timetable for return uncertain

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / June 27, 2010

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Red Sox suffered a crucial loss yesterday as tests revealed that Dustin Pedroia has a nondisplaced fracture of his left navicular bone, after fouling a ball off the instep of his left foot in the third inning of Friday night’s loss to the Giants.

Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

“We don’t know the extent, so the time down will be dependent on how bad this is, and we don’t know that yet,’’ manager Terry Francona said before last night’s game. “When we know the severity of it, then we’ll have some parameters.’’

The second baseman underwent a CT scan and an MRI yesterday morning, the results of which were still being reviewed by Sox medical director Dr. Thomas Gill and Massachusetts General Hospital orthopedist George Theodore. Pedroia will be examined tomorrow when the Sox return to Boston from the West Coast. The navicular bone is a small, non-weight-bearing bone in the foot.

There was little to add after the Red Sox’ 4-2 victory last night, though the team did receive preliminary word from the doctors in Boston. “I think they feel pretty good, saying that nothing stood out,’’ said Francona. “I think, at least preliminarily, it was fairly good news.’’

Pedroia, who was replaced on the roster by infielder Angel Sanchez, who was recalled from Triple A Pawtucket, was using crutches yesterday, with his left foot encased in a molded black boot. While Pedroia is out, the Sox will use a combination of Sanchez and Bill Hall. Hall started at second yesterday against the Giants. The Sox also acquired infielder/outfielder Eric Patterson from Oakland for lefthanded minor league pitcher Fabian Williamson.

“I’m upset,’’ Pedroia said. “This is pretty tough. But I’ll try to get back in there and heal as fast as possible.

“They don’t know. I could feel fine in two weeks and then play. Or I can’t walk until six weeks. We don’t know. In the past I’ve healed pretty quick. So hopefully I do that this time.’’

Francona also did not rule out surgery for Pedroia.

Pedroia added, “One thing is they said if I have to, they’d put a pin in there, it actually would speed up my recovery.’’

There was a sense of uncertainty and disappointment as the Sox face the loss of one of their hottest hitters and emotional leaders.

After dropping the first two games of their series against the Rockies, Pedroia powered the Sox to victory with three home runs Thursday night. Pedroia has hit .292 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in 73 games this season. He’s tied for the American League lead with 24 doubles, and is tied for fourth with 52 runs scored, and ninth with 148 total bases.

“He means a lot,’’ Hall said. “To me, he’s our second captain. Obviously, [Jason Varitek’s] No. 1. Pedey with his emotion and how hard he plays and the big hits he gets, he means a lot to this team emotionally. We’re going to miss him a lot. If he’s in the dugout, I know he’s going to be rooting for us and giving us that same energy and we’re going to need that.’’

“I felt bad for him,’’ Francona added. “He comes in today, and he’s already wanting to know who’s going to play second. I’ve never seen a kid care more about a baseball team. He’s so upset because he knows he helps us win. So we just need to find a way to win.’’

Pedroia said he sensed the injury might be significant Friday night after he “hit it pretty good.’’ He sounded upset while talking to reporters yesterday, but was determined to return as soon as possible.

“I’m just going to try to be positive for all the guys,’’ Pedroia said. “They know how I play the game, and they know I’ll be in the dugout watching the game and trying to see things on the field to help us win. I don’t know. I’ve never really done this before, so it’s not real fun.’’

Said Mike Cameron, “Losing the fire from a guy like Pedroia, what he brings offensively and defensively, it definitely [affects] your club. We’ve got enough guys in here I think that we can kind of weather the storm. We’ve been weathering it for a while. He’s going to be sorely missed.’’

Pedroia maintained that the team can get through his absence.

“We’ll be fine,’’ he said. “We’ll find ways to win. We’ve had guys get hurt all year, and we’ve still been able to win games. I don’t see why we still can’t do that. Everyone’s going to have to step up and find a way to win ballgames. No one guy makes a team. We’ve got a lot of great players on our team. Hopefully they can weather everything and wait for everyone to get back healthy and we’ll take off.’’

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmalieBenjamin.

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