Red Sox

Red Sox’ Justin Turner offers promising injury update after getting hit in face by pitch

"I got pretty lucky, all things considered."

Boston Red Sox third baseman Justin Turner reacts after scoring in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., Friday, March 3, 2023.
Justin Turner needed 16 stitches after taking a pitch to the face last Monday. Gerald Herbert / AP

Less than a week after taking a fastball to the face during Grapefruit League action, Red Sox infielder Justin Turner was back at Boston’s facility on Sunday morning.

And barring any last-minute setbacks, the 38-year-old veteran can start to resume his preseason ramp-up work on the field as early as Monday.

“I got pretty lucky, all things considered,” Turner told reporters in Fort Myers on Sunday, via NESN video. “Every day I’ve been getting a little bit better. I actually got the last of the stitches out, removed [Sunday]. And starting to do some baseball activities, so that’s encouraging.”


It’s an impressive turnaround for Turner, who was taken to a hospital on Monday afternoon after a pitch from Detroit’s Matt Manning sailed in and caught him up high. Despite needing 16 stitches, Turner’s scans came back clean and he did not suffer any facial fractures or broken teeth.

Considering the initial optics of the injury, Turner appears to have dodged a bullet. “You just don’t know what really is going on,” Turner said of the play. “Everything was pretty numb in the moment. I knew I was bleeding, I had no idea where I was bleeding from. Couldn’t feel my teeth really, so didn’t know if they were all there.

“And just want to get past the heat wave that you get and the feeling that you think you’re going to pass out. Once I was able to get to the room, lay down, get hooked up to some IVs and stuff, calm down, it’s been actually pretty smooth sailing from there, knock on wood.”

It remains to be seen if Turner’s recovery timeline will have him on track to take the field for Opening Day in less than three weeks.


But based on Alex Cora’s comments, Turner is already taking major steps toward his return to the diamond.

“He’s gonna do a lot of stuff inside today in the training room and in the gym,” Cora told reporters Sunday, per’s Rob Bradford. “Most likely tomorrow he’ll start doing baseball activities — ground balls and he’ll hit. I just talked to him. He’s in a good spot. He feels really good.”


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