The following is a transcript of Mike Lowell's meeting with reporters today in the Sox clubhouse.
Whatís the latest?
The medical term is that they believe that my labrum maybe popped in and out of the joint, they say. Thatís why itís kind of flaring today. So I think thatís a good thing. Because, I asked again Ė I was on the phone with a lot of people today, and I know Tito and Theo were as well, seeing if this could worse. And they really say that it canít. I look at that as a positive. This morning was very uncomfortable when I woke up. It kind of bothered me.
At any point, were you worried that it might be something that would keep you out for a long time?
Yeah. Absolutely. Usually when you wake up, you feel better. I was very stiff. Thatís when I called the trainers and said, ĎCould something like this get worse?í They made phone calls and basically were told that the whole popping thing makes sense, and that your body will flare up after that. They say it can happen to someoneís shoulder, but they say thatís a little more drastic than mine. Thereís something in a position that it shouldnít be that enables it to do that. Enable sounds kind of positive, so Iím not sure thatís the right word.
Did they have a ballpark figure for when the soreness goes away?
In a couple days, it should feel a lot better. So Iím hoping with tomorrow being the day off. Pre that defensive play, and I still feel I can get in the lineup and contribute. If itís to the point where Iím a hindrance to the team, then we got to look for another direction. Just that one yesterday really tweaked something.
Can it happen again?
I donít know. I would like for it not to happen again.
Itís got to be tough, because itís not like you can shy away from that type of play.
Absolutely. I was telling Mikey, some plays when guys throw off balance when you can set your feet, Iím kind of a guy who sets his feet anyways. I would make a conscious effort to always set my feet. On that play, if you donít throw off-balance, heís going to be safe. Looking back, I donít think I could have done that any different.
Is it an injury where it hurts, but doesnít affect your performance?
It doesnít hurt me to swing, except the last at-bat yesterday. But I think that was caused by the play earlier. So I feel like as long as I can swing pain-free, then I feel like I can manage to play third base. Obviously, bunters Ė I mean, I felt like I was standing right next to Josh when [Fernando] Perez was up the next time. I thought for sure he would bunt, which he tried to do. I think we can make minor adjustments to be productive. I would like to play. Iíve never played Wiffleball in the backyard saying, this is a game in June. You say, this is a game on the line. I want to be in there. So Iím hoping in two days it will feel a lot better.
Have you thought about seeing any kind of specialist just to make sure?
We had all those phone calls. I know [the team hip doctor] works well with one of the doctors in New York. Heís receiving the films [of the MRI]. Iíve been told by at least three or four independent sources that the films only show so much. Iíve seen MRIs before. It looks like a baby scribbling, so I donít know what they see. But theyíve all said it really canít get worse.
When was the MRI done?
It was done the second day after I hurt my oblique. About four weeks ago.
Iím not looking forward to the offseason, because everyone told me that itís really a pain in the ass. It doesnít sound too exciting. In the offseason, I picture myself at the beach playing with my kids in a pool. Not a lot of rehab.
Will you need surgery?
I donít think so. I donít know so. But I know I donít want to come in with this possibility for next year.
Are you concerned more hitters will bunt against you?
I hope they do. I feel I still field the ball. Not too many guys are good bunters. Itís hard. Bunting off Wake is nearly impossible. Josh throws hard. Dice-K, nothing is straight that he throws. Theyíre not comfortable guys to bunt off. So really, we donít have too many guys try to bunt off us. Thatís not really a major concern.
Are you going to stay with the team to Toronto, get treatment?
Did you say you think you can play on Friday?
I did say I hope I would. I think the way I feel tomorrow is a big indicator.
Beyond this season and winter and next year, do you have any cause for concern longer term?
I specifically asked [the Sox hip doctor] after the MRI. I said, ĎIf I hurt this again, will I need a hip replacement down the road?í He said, ĎThis has nothing to do with it. You might need a hip replacement in your other hip before.í Iím all for doing what I can to be on the field, but I donít want to sacrifice my health later on in my life. That was definitely something I asked.
I figure it was titanium, then there might be a chance my golf swing would be better.