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Wrist surgery for Carl Crawford

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 17, 2012 03:35 PM

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Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford had surgery on his left wrist in Arizona today. GM Ben Cherington said Crawford should be recovered to play "the bulk" of the season.

The surgery was done in Arizona by Dr. Donald Sheridan. It was Sheridan who operated on Crawford in 2008 to fix a tendon issue in his right hand.

Crawford felt soreness when he started his offseason hitting workouts around Jan. 1. He had an MRI that showed cartilage damage, and arthroscopic surgery was recommended. Crawford has had wrist issues in the past, but the discomfort had always passed. Having such pain at this time of the year was a red flag.

Cherington did not rule out Crawford being available for Opening Day. But it sounds like he could miss the early part of the season. Crawford is expected to be ready to resume baseball activities at some point during spring training.

"We're not going to put a timeline on his recovery," Cherington said. "But we're optimistic Carl will be progressing in baseball activities as we get into spring training and be in a position to be active and our left fielder in our lineup for the bulk of the regular season."

Cherington said he was comfortable with the team's outfield depth. If Ryan Sweeney is in right field, the Red Sox would have Darnell McDonald and Mike Aviles available in left field. There are a number of free agent outfielders available. But if the Red Sox believe Crawford would miss only minimal time, obtaining one may not make sense.

More from Cherington:

On the team's pitching depth: "I don't want to rule anything out. If spring training opened tomorrow, we'd be comfortable where we are."

On Jacoby Ellsbury's deal: The GM said only a one-year deal was discussed.

On Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield: Cherington said the the team's position had not changed. He said the Red Sox want to treat the free-agent veterans with respect but at the same time "be honest" with them about their chances.

On Vicente Padilla: Cherington said the righthander would come to camp to compete for a spot in the rotation, but would be willing to pitch in relief.

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