BOSTON -- Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew, who has missed the last six weeks with an impingement in his left shoulder, was set to be activated from the disabled list today, but the club will hold off because Drew suffered a sprained finger during his minor league rehab assignment.
During his second at-bat on Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket, Drew swung at a fastball middle-in and fouled it off. Somehow when he finished his swing, his bottom hand slipped off the bat and he got his finger up against the knob, bending the finger back.
“The diagnosis is he can play as tolerated,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s really sore, so we have to see where it goes. Whether it's a day, two days or a week, we don’t know.”
Drew was back with the team today and was on the field for batting practice. He explained the situation in the clubhouse afterward.
"Yeah, you know, had a good swing, and it was one of those things where very rarely does your bottom hand slip off the bat. I was just trying to maintain grip, and these two fingers caught the knob and it really torqued it pretty good,” he said. “I felt it, came out of the box, stood around for 30 seconds, finished the at-bat, finished two more at-bats, got a couple hits, thought I was all right.
"Woke up in the middle of the night, I had it wrapped up, and it was really pounding. Went in yesterday and tried to do some treatment, tried to take some dry swings, really painful, so I flew back last night, saw the doctors, took some X-rays, moved it around a little bit. Just kind of a day-to-day thing. I think it's going to be a little longer than a few days, but hopefully, once it calms down and the swelling comes out of there, we can make some progress as far as treatments.”
Drew said he wasn't sure when he'd return and described the injury in more detail.
"There's a small sliver of bone kind of pulled off of the ligament," he explained. "I don't know what they call it, but you can see there's a bone, and I guess when I torqued it, it kind of pulled that off. But one of the doctors said that's kind of a good thing, kind of promotes healing in that area versus just having ligament damage. It's real sore the last couple days. I think the soreness probably will start calming down, and starting tomorrow, treatment will start picking up, try to get range of motion and make a determination when we start going back hitting again."
Drew said his shoulder felt strong during his rehab assignment.
“It felt really good. My shoulder, strength-wise, is really good,” he said. “We've done a lot of work to get the strength back to where I wanted it. I was feeling really good there, having some nice rounds of batting practice, running well, felt good defensively.”
Then the finger injury happened.
“It was just one of those fluke things that this pops up in that situation,” he said. “I honestly didn't think it was going to be that bad. It hurt really bad when I did it, but I didn't think it was going to be that extensive of an injury until you wake up in the middle of the night and the thing is killing you. You realize something else is really going on.
"Unfortunately, it's my bottom hand. I think if it was my top hand it might be a little bit different. But the bottom hand is your power hand, the hand that has to stay on the bat. So we've got to make a determination. If I go up there and try to swing right now, as painful as it is and as loose as that ligament is, you jeopardize really tearing it. I think some healing time really is all it's going to take. As long as it heals and I'm pain-free."