Dustin Pedroia wasn't able to beat his projected timetable of four-to-six weeks out with a fractured foot, but is getting close to a return.
Pedroia, who hopes to be starting at second base at the start of Boston's next homestand August 17 against the , ran the bases Sunday and was pleased with the outcome.
“I jogged around the bases, felt OK," Pedroia told the Boston Globe . So every day it’s getting better. Three days ago I thought I was out for the year. Now I feel like I can play soon."
The next step for Pedroia is to take a breather on Monday then repeat all his steps -- running the bases, turning double plays, taking groundballs, hitting -- "more aggressively, with more intensity," as manager Terry Francona says.
After that, Pedroia, Francona, GM Theo Epstein and others will discuss whether the diminutive second baseman should go off on a rehab assignment or not.
Whenever Pedroia returns, he'll come back to the best line of his career to date with a .292/.370/.502 mark in 342 plate appearances. Pedroia had struggled through a brutal May but turned it on in June with a 1.075 OPS before going down.
Pedroia is rehabbing with fellow injured teammate Jason Varitek -- who also has a fractured foot. 'Tek is slightly behind Pedroia due to suffering the injury days later and is ramping up his activities shortly.
"I’m still learning how to walk and jog right now," Varitek said. "I’m recovering day to day, and getting better each day, so that’s good for me. Whatever we’re doing, I’m handling and not going backwards the next day."
The season-ending injury to Kevin Youkilis may have derailed what might have been a postseason push by the Red Sox, but the burgeoning return of Pedroia, Varitek and recently signed Carlos Delgado means this season isn't over yet.
-- Evan Brunell
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