Mike Lowell will play on with broken rib

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell admitted Saturday afternoon that he has been playing with a fractured rib since colliding with the Toronto Blue Jays' John McDonald in an Aug. 20 game at Fenway Park.

When he first suffered the injury he thought it was just a bruise, but a week later the soreness did not subside. When the Red Sox were in Tampa last weekend, Lowell met with the Rays' team doctor and had an X-ray taken.

"The rehab I have to do is the same whether it's a fracture or not," Lowell said. "It bothers me to sleep and it bothers me if I get fooled swinging, so don't get fooled. Just to get some closure I went [Friday] and had a CT scan and MRI."

He said he was told it was a non-displaced fracture.

"As long as I can deal with it, I'm medically cleared to play," he said. "That's fine with me."

After the game on Aug. 20 Lowell told the training staff McDonald's shoulder caught him just right on the collision at first base.

"I think 'fracture' makes it sound worse than it is," he said. "I guess it is. I don't know, I'm not a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

"As long as I'm good with it, I can play. Compared to my hip last year, it's a much less inconvenience. Obviously, I feel it sometimes, but I don't think it changes my routine.

"If it gets to a point where I have to do something different at the plate, or on the field, I'll have to take a step back and be smart. It's not going to get worse. I see it as getting better so it's not a big deal. I don't enjoy it, but I don't think it's something that will affect me."

Lowell is the third Red Sox player to suffer a rib injury. Outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida both missed extensive time with rib injuries after both collided with third baseman Adrian Beltre on separate occasions.

"And [Adrian] Beltre didn't even hit me, which is amazing," Lowell said with a smile. "It's just a freak thing."

WEEI.com first reported Lowell's injury.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.