Nick Green planned on testing his problematic right leg with slow grounders at shortstop this afternoon. “It’s important to see how that goes,” manager Terry Francona said.
It did not go well.
Green took “rollers” from infield coach Tim Bogar, who rolled the ball at Green. Even fielding those didn’t feel right for Green, who returned home from Boston last week with a “dead” right leg and discovered he had a nerve injury in his back. Green hoped to return by Friday, which will now not happen after his work this afternoon.
“I’m not as happy as I wanted to be, put it that way,” Green said. “It’s frustrating. It’s just a tough situation all the way around. I’m just frustrated. It’s getting better. Just not as good as I hope.”
Green’s unimproved status gives the Red Sox potential trouble for the backup infielder on their postseason roster. Jed Lowrie and Chris Woodward are the other options. Lowrie is still trying to get used to life after his wrist surgery, and Woodward spent much of the season in the minor leagues.
Green provided stability at shortstop for the first half, and his athleticism and versatility makes him a strong backup candidate. Asked about his place in the postseason, Green did not sound optimistic. “I got to get back first,” he said. With Friday apparently out of the question, Green has only Saturday and Sunday to play before the end of the regular season.
Lowrie started third base and batted lefthanded last night, both firsts since his most recent return from the disabled list. He went 0 for 3 and struck out looking in his last at-bat, which Francona said may have owed to hesitancy to check his swing, which his how he re-injured his wrist in August. Lowrie, who also made a pair of slick, diving plays, felt some fatigue from the game today.
“He feels it a little bit,” Francona said. “I thought he swung the bat pretty well. I think in his last at-bat, he felt like he was fatiguing a little bit, which is a concern. But I though he played pretty. Early on, I thought he looked a little bit rusty. But as he got into the game, I thought he started moving around a little bit better.
“When the ball is in the zone, he’s a good hitter. The hard thing is, especially as you get late into the game and he gets some at-bats and the game is wearing on him, trying to maybe swing or not swing at the balls that aren’t in the zone. You could see it maybe in his last at-bat, when he took the third strike. That’s something that we have to see if we have enough time over the weekend where he feels like he can be out there and not have to come out of the game.”
Woodward is not with the team tonight so he can be with his wife as her pregnancy is induced. He plans on returning Saturday.
Green said he does not think any kind of injection is a possibility to help him return more quickly. He planned on taking batting practice today, too, but he felt dispirited after his work in the field.
“It doesn’t hurt,” Green said. “It’s just not cooperating. That’s the only way I can say it.”