TORONTO — Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino took batting practice in the cage again Wednesday afternoon and is set to take BP on the field Thursday.
If Victorino's strained lower back handles that step well, he could play Friday in Texas.
"That's the tentative plan," manager John Farrell said. "Whether or not he's coming out of BP tomorrow and he's available for tomorrow night's game remains to be seen. But optimistically we're looking at Friday at Texas."
Victorino has been out of the lineup for the last six games and eight of the last 11 because of the injury. It seems unlikely the Red Sox would send him out to play on the AstroTurf of Rogers Centre Thursday.
"I've progressed every day," said Victorino. "Tomorrow we're going to add to the workload. My goal is if everything goes accordingly, I'd like to play the first game in Texas. That's obviously how my body reacts and how my body feels. Every day it's progressed in a positive direction. No setbacks when I get up in the morning."
Victorino is guarding against a setback. If he were to come back for a day or two and get injured again, the Sox would lose the ability to backdate his stint on the disabled list.
"The frustrating thing for me is never having a back problem and having this all of a sudden occur," Victorino said. "Things are going good, the team is going well. I tip my hat to the guys. They're doing a great job. It's been fun to watch."
In terms of other news:
• LHP Franklin Morales has started a long-toss program and could throw off a mound this weekend. He is on the disabled list with a back injury and was shut down for five days because of a strained pectoral muscle on his left side.
At one point, the Red Sox were hoping to prepare Morales to work as a starter in case a need arose.
• LHP Craig Breslow, who has made three rehab appearances, is scheduled to pitch for Triple A Pawtucket Thursday.