Dustin Pedroia was sitting in the dugout while the Red Sox took batting practice yesterday and pulled the cast off his left foot.
The hole where doctors performed surgery to insert a screw into his fractured navicular bone is smaller than a dime. Pedroia has a few weeks left on crutches, then comes the rehab. His target date to start baseball activities is the day after Thanksgiving.
"A little later than I would like," he said. "But plenty of time to get ready for spring training."
When the surgery was done, doctors found that the tendon in his foot was wrapped around the bone in such a way that it would have taken four months to heal properly. But then there was a 50-percent change that he would have fractured it again. So surgery was the right decision.
"The tendon was basically pulling the fracture apart," he said. "That's why it took so long."
When Pedroia played those two games after coming off the DL, he needed painkillers to get through it then was in agony afterward.
There is a slim chance his body will reject the surgical screw, but Pedroia is confident he will be sound once he arrives in Fort Myers. Come next Thursday, he will head home to Arizona with his wife and son and try to enjoy the offseason.
"It'll drive me crazy," he said. "We should have been in the playoffs. Be being hurt, Kevin [Youkilis] being hurt, it was too much. We could have done a lot of damage, dude."
The Red Sox have work to do this offseason. But getting Pedroia and Youkilis back and healthy will fix a lot of what went wrong.