Crawford surgery call expected Monday

NEW YORK -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Sunday that the team will meet with outfielder Carl Crawford and members of the Red Sox medical staff on Monday to make a decision about if and when Crawford will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

Valentine said he spoke with general manager Ben Cherington earlier in the day about Crawford's status.

"Ben and I just talked about it," Valentine said. "When he can't play, he tells me he can't play. I haven't heard that today.

"Tomorrow is an off day and we'll that that time to talk to Carl and the doctors to get to the bottom of the entire situation."

Asked if a decision on Crawford will be made on Monday, Valentine said, "I think that would be safe to assume when we get all the opinions and collect them."

Crawford is playing left field and batting second for the Red Sox in Sunday night's series finale against the Yankees.

According to two people with close ties to Crawford, the left fielder is reluctant to tell the Red Sox he would like to shut down playing and have the surgery because he is afraid of how that will be perceived -- by his teammates, by management, and not least, by Red Sox fans, ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes reported Saturday.

Cherington said Saturday night of Crawford wanting to have surgery, "He knows if he ever feels that way, there is an open door to come in. The last thing we would ask him to do is anything he's not comfortable with. It's up to him."

In an email to the Boston Herald on Saturday night, Crawford's agent said the left fielder will follow the advice of the Red Sox medical staff.

"Carl intends to follow the course recommended by the medical professionals who have been treating him, in whom he has full confidence," agent Brian Peters said. "Whether and when he has surgery wil be determined by them. The Red Sox have been and remain 100 percent supportive of Carl throughout the process."

Crawford underwent wrist surgery in January, causing him to open the season on the disabled list. While rehabbing at the team's training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., he subsequently hurt his elbow, an injury the team announced on April 27 as a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. He missed the team's first 89 games before returning on July 17, but days before his activation, he acknowledged he had thoughts about having Tommy John reconstructive ligament surgery.

Crawford has maintained that Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedist who examined him in April, told him that he ultimately would require Tommy John surgery, a position repeatedly challenged publicly by both Cherington and Valentine, who have said that surgery was not necessarily required.