Drew tests oblique; return still uncertain

BOSTON -- The Stephen Drew watch continues Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park, where the sidelined shortstop was undergoing a full set of intensified baseball activities with the hope of overcoming a nagging oblique injury.

Drew was out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight time Saturday as the Boston Red Sox prepared to play the third of four games against the Cleveland Indians. The full battery of tests would determine whether or not the team needs to place Drew on the disabled list.

"This will be the biggest test to date for him," manager John Farrell said. "If he passes this we've got him available today. If not, we may have to do something roster-wise at that point."

Drew signed in May and went through a stint in the minors before playing four games for the Red Sox prior to the injury. He has never dealt with an oblique strain, he said, so precaution is at a premium.

"To start with, [the pain] wasn't tolerable," Drew said amid the workout Saturday. "These extra days and stuff ... obviously, of course, I can swing the bat and stuff like that more. Like I said, just working through things, trying to get at game speed and go from there."

Drew was ramping up his activity when he felt some pain in the side Wednesday in Baltimore. That prompted a down day Thursday. He was expected to get in more activity Friday, but heavy rain delayed the full workout for a day.

"Taking more swings day by day, that's a good thing," he added. "Take it slow, have to do some more things to make it game speed-like and go from there."