Dustin Pedroia revealed following Boston's 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers that he has a torn abductor muscle in his right thumb and is trying to avoid going on the disabled list.
Pedroia was huddled in a long meeting in Bobby Valentine's office after the game with GM Ben Cherington, doctors and trainers. The big decision may come 24 hours form now. If Pedroia shows he can protect the thumb with a brace, he may play through. If he can't it could be 3-4 week before he's able to get back.
"The swelling in my thumb has gone down. The bruising has gone down so we’re just waiting to see if I could play,” Pedroia said.
The second baseman, who missed his first game of the season Tuesday night, hopes to avoid the disabled list in what is normally a 2-4 week injury.
“Yeah, I’m optimistic,” he said. “We’re still talking about it and if the swelling and stuff goes down, I won’t miss that much time.”
Asked if he could do more harm than good by trying to play through?
“I don’t know I’m not a doctor. I just want to be here for the guys. If I can protect it when I hit, we’ll be all right. Hopefully, I heal quick and I can get back out there and soon as I can. My ligaments and tendons are fine. It’s the only muscle in the thumb. I have to wait for it to calm down and see if I can hit with a splint or a brace or something. And we’ll go on from there,” he said.
Pedroia said he hurt the thumb three weeks ago while swinging the bat and he aggravated it Monday in the fourth inning against Doug Fister.
Asked if he needed to show the management anything to convince them not to go on the DL, he said, “I don’t have to show them anything,” Pedroia said. “I’ve played with injuries before. It comes down to me being able to swing with a brace on. I’ll get something made and see how it feels. If I can’t do it, it’s three or four weeks, so hopefully it’s not that.”
Valentine said of Pedroia, “He’s an amazing guy and an amazing healer and sometimes he wills things. His mind right now is on the side of playing. I’m going to give it another day or even two and see how it feels.”
Valentine added, “The risk of losing him for an extended period of time is not worth having him play sooner rather than later. We’re going to be intelligent and he’s on board. He’s a smart guy.”
Cherington said there’s “no blueprint” for whether Pedroia is at risk of injuring himself more.
“As with any injury, the healing will likely take place over time. In this league, players come back and play on injuries all the time. So it’s really about managing the risk before he gets out there he can do what he needs to do and we’re not putting him in any undue risk," Cherington said.
“There’s some risk just like with any injury, that it could worsen. That’s our job and Dustin’s job to make sure that we’re minimizing that risk as much as possible before gets back out there. But it’s like when people pull a hamstring and continue to play on it. You can play if you continue to heal and protect it and, of course, there’s always a risk it could get worse if you play on it, so we’re just trying to manage that and do the right thing for him and do the right thing for the team,” Cherington said.