Pedroia likely to return this weekend

NEW YORK -- Dustin Pedroia will not play in Thursday’s series finale against the Yankees, but showed sufficient improvement to make Red Sox manager John Farrell optimistic that he will play in this weekend’s series at Fenway Park against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“He’s improved today,’’ said Farrell, noting that Pedroia had done some hitting in early batting practice.

“He went through the impact testing online. That came back as he’s passed. So we’ll see how he responds tomorrow with some further exertion testing, but it’s anticipated and optimistic that he would be back on the field probably when we get back home.”