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Why didn't Crawford have surgery earlier?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 19, 2012 01:06 PM

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Quite a few readers have e-mailed to ask why Carl Crawford waited to have surgery on his left wrist this week instead of getting it done in October.

It's a reasonable question and there appears to be a simple answer: He didn't need surgery in the fall.

Crawford has had occasional wrist issues over the years and it bothered him at times in 2011. But there was no reason for him to have surgery at the time according to Ben Cherington. When Crawford started swinging a bat around Jan. 1 -- which is a normal timetable -- that's when it started to bother him. Given the time of the year, that was a concern.

An MRI showed cartilage damage and surgery was done.

Surgery is a last resort for players and teams. If a player has soreness in some area of his body, doctors and athletic trainers will try several other methods to allieviate that before they get to surgery. Knowing Crawford and how much he values working out in the offseason, he would have demanded surgery if he thought he needed it.

Given the well-publicized issues with the Red Sox medical staff, it's natural for people to have doubts. But this seems to be simply bad timing.

Ther bigger issue is to what degree Crawford can stay healthy for the six years remaining on his contract. He missed time with a hamstring strain last season and now has this wrist injury.

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