Some good news for Drew

Shortstop Stephen Drew was cleared for baseball activity by neuropsychologist Dr. Micky Collins, MLB's consultant on concussions, after Drew was evaluated by Collins and his staff at the University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center. Drew was back in camp Thursday, but GM Ben Cherington said it remains uncertain when he will resume playing.

In the event the Sox deem it necessary to place Drew on the 7-day disabled list for players with concussion symptoms, they may keep him out of big league exhibition games next week, a procedural step that would allow them to place him on the DL Sunday, the earliest they would be allowed to do so. If the Sox take that step, Drew would miss only one game, the opener, before being eligible to return.

"We'll probably have a better sense of that by the end of the weekend," Cherington said about the chances of Drew being ready for the opener, "but we're starting to fight the calendar a little bit. We don't want him to be in a situation where he's having to rush at-bats by a certain date.

"But generally, it was good news and he's headed in the right direction."

Cherington said that Drew last week passed the online testing required by MLB's protocol for players displaying concussive symptoms, but because he was still experiencing symptoms he was sent to Pittsburgh to be evaluated by Collins.

"We're going to progress as he feels he is able to do," Cherington said. "He feels better every day, and hopefully it goes in that direction.

"There's certainly an element of the unknown here with this type of thing. The day it happened, we felt it was something he was going to get past but there's no blueprint on this type of thing. We have to take it a day at a time. As long as he's feeling anything, we're going to be cautious. But he's feeling better every day."