NEW YORK — A major league source told the Globe this afternoon that Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford wants to get Tommy John surgery on his left elbow next week and plans to approach the team with his request in the next 48 hours.
General manager Ben Cherington said today that request has not come as of yet.
“It’s a situation we are monitoring and we will continue to work with Carl to determine a course that is best for him and the team,” Cherington said.
Crawford partially tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in April and was given an injection of platelet-rich plasma, a procedure that in some cases promotes healing. The injection has little effect and Crawford came off the disabled list in July, saying he was willing to play with pain with the team still in contention.
Crawford has hit fairly well in 29 games (.287/.313/.500) but has said that he expects to get the surgery. Throwing, he said, remains painful.
For a position player, Tommy John surgery usually requires at least six months of rehabilitation. By getting the surgery now, Crawford could be ready for the start of the 2013 season instead of starting the season on the disabled list again.
With the 58-62 Red Sox falling out of contention, the situation is coming to a boil.
Cherington said the decision would be made based on what is best for Crawford and not on the standings. For now, the Red Sox are trying to determine the best course of action.
“[Surgery] is not inevitable until it happens,” Cherington said. “We felt earlier this summer it was something that we had a chance to manage and certainly Carl was on board for that. If it gets to a point where it’s not something he feels he can play with safely, then we’ll consider the next step.”
UPDATE, 10:10 p.m.: Crawford was not available for comment after a 4-1 victory against the Yankees. But he told Fox Sports before the game that the situation is something is thinks about every day and is weighing the merits of continuing to play against having surgery now and getting started on what would be a lengthy rehabilitation process.