Knowing full well that his injured elbow likely will need offseason Tommy John surgery, Carl Crawford is still pursuing a return to the Sox lineup in the near future.
“Thought about it,” Crawford said about the possibility of surgery. “At this point, I can play. I think they want me out on the field. I’m just trying to do everything I can to get back on the field.
“Right now, I feel like if I can’t help the team I wouldn’t get out there. Helping the team right now is what’s best for me.”
Pitchers who undergo Tommy John typically require 12 months of recovery time. That is significantly less for positional players, around six months.
Crawford suffered a damaged ulnar collateral ligament that has kept him on the disabled list all season, but he said he is not experiencing pain when he throws. Soreness can occur when he warms up, and there’s no pain when he swings the bat.
When he does return, Crawford might have some minor limitations on how far he can stretch out his arm during games.
“It’d probably be best for me to throw it to the cutoff man, but I can’t say that once I get in game action, and your competitiveness takes over and you want to take certain throws,” he said. “I can say I’m probably supposed to throw it to the cutoff man, but sometimes you still might try to make certain throws.”
Crawford’s rehab assignment in the minors was briefly put on hold after he suffered tightness in his groin when he hit a triple. He ran the bases Sunday afternoon and is scheduled to return to Triple A Pawtucket on Thursday. The tightness, Crawford said, is no different than that routinely experienced during spring training.
“I’m ready to get back on the field,” Crawford said. “I was making progress in the games i was playing and feeling really good about that.
“I feel like I’m real close. I feel like I can help the team out.”