Specialist clears Middlebrooks

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Red Sox manager John Farrell said that team hand specialist Dr. Tom Holovacs examined third baseman Will Middlebrooks Thursday morning and cleared him for all baseball activity. Middlebrooks, who told Farrell he felt a “zinging sensation” in his wrist on a checked swing in the first inning Wednesday night and came out of the game, is scheduled to take batting practice Friday and could play in that night’s game.

“His exam this morning was benign,’’ Farrell said Thursday morning at McKechnie Field, where the Red Sox were scheduled to play the Pirates. “He didn’t feel any discomfort when he was put through a battery of tests and he’s actually been cleared for all baseball activities, but I’m sure he’s going to take the day to just let it rest.

“But given the way he came out after the swing, it was obviously very good news this morning. He’ll be day to day, until he takes BP, which should be tomorrow. Our plan right now is that he would be able to go tomorrow, but we’ll just be sure he comes through BP without any issue.”

Middlebrooks told reporters in Fort Myers on Thursday morning that he was feeling better and that his wrist checked out OK.

Farrell said Holovacs decided it was not necessary to administer either X-rays or an MRI on Middlebrooks, who on Wednesday night felt pain in the same wrist in which he fractured two bones last August.

“There was nothing structural that was revealed in the physical testing he went through,” Farrell said. “Had there been any kind of discomfort, we certainly would have taken him for imaging but at this point, that wasn’t recommended by the doctors."

Farrell addressed Boston’s lack of depth at third behind Middlebrooks. Pedro Ciriaco, who has played 35 games at the position, has the most experience at third of any other player in camp.

“How do we feel about it?’’ Farrell said. “Well, when you get into the depth behind Will, we’re looking at more utility-like guys rather than someone who would profile at that position long-term. We’re confident with the people in camp. There’s no additions in camp that are being contemplated or imminent. That’s kind of where we are.’’

Middlebrooks plans to wear a protective batting glove on his wrist, but Farrell said that was more likely a result of an equipment dealer being in town than Wednesday’s issue.

"I do know that he met with them today, but it was more just normal equipment distribution. He didn’t come in specifically for what took place last year and what happened last night.”