Without any prompting from the media during his pregame news conference, Bobby Valentine wasted little time launching into the situation with Dustin Pedroia's jammed right thumb, which kept him out of the lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers.
The Red Sox manager said Pedroia had undergone an MRI exam on his injured thumb, but was awaiting the results and, as a result, had nothing to report other than the fact that Pedroia, who had been nagged by a sore thumb for a few weeks, did not injure his thumb making a diving stop for a 4-3 putout on Danny Worth at the end of the fifth inning of Monday's 7-4 victory over the Tigers.
Rather, Valentine said, Pedroia aagravated a preexisting condition with his thumb on his last at-bat against Doug Fister in the bottom of the fourth inning: a pop fly to second.
Valentine said Pedroia had been nagged by a sore thumb "he jammed about three weeks ago," but had been dealing with it on his own.
"He started wearing a little protection and I know he took some batting practice using a little bit of a different grip,'' Valentine said. "But there wasn't anything on the medical reports the last couple of weeks.
"The straw that might've broke the camel's back was the last at-bat, which was an inside fastball, but this might have been a situation he's been dealing with.''
Asked if Pedroia experienced any weakness in his grip, Valentine said, ``It's weak enough or bruised enough if something reoccurs -- or the same situation happens -- then maybe it can get very serious."
Asked if the team was still classifying Pedroia's injury as a ``jammed'' thumb, Valentine said, "I don't know how to classify it. We don't have a diagnosis.''
In other related matters:
* Carl Crawford, appearing in the clubhouse sweaty from taking some swings in the batting cage, said Tuesday he was about "10 days away'' from being to start throwing. "That's going to be the true test,'' Crawford said of his ongoing rehab work from a sore left elbow that hampered his return from off-season left wrist surgery.
Valentine said Crawford would begin a program to help him prepare for throwing. "There's a mechanic we'd like to see Carl use, which I would think to be proper,'' Valentine said. "So there's a turn of the body, a step of the legs, a late rotation with the upper body rather than an early rotation with the upper body, and that's a kind of a movement from the bottom to the top, a kinetic link from the feet to the place that's being propelled, so we would like him to start getting that linkage.''
* Darnell McDonald, on the 15-day disabled list since May 13 with a right oblique strain, was back in the clubhouse after completing his third rehab assignment at Triple A Pawtucket Monday. McDonald played center field for nine innings and went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in a 6-4 loss to Norfolk. "They gave me a day to rest my body a little bit,'' said McDonald.