NEW YORK -- The scenario is similar to what happened to Dustin Pedroia on his first trip to New York last season.
The day after injuring his left thumb sliding headfirst into first base in the team's first game of the 2013 season, Pedroia secretly returned to Boston to have his thumb checked. The injury was diagnosed as a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and doctors gave Pedroia two options: He could try to play through the pain as tolerated or shut down for eight weeks to allow the thumb to heal.
Pedroia elected to play. He appeared in the team's first 70 games, missed just two games all season, and it did not even come to light that he was hurt until the end of May. He had surgery on the thumb last November.
Sunday afternoon, Pedroia was scratched from the lineup after reporting soreness in his left wrist, stemming from a play that occurred last weekend in Boston. Manager John Farrell said it came on a takeout play at second base involving Carlos Gomez of the Brewers, which would seem to pinpoint a play in the ninth inning of the April 4 home opener when Pedroia was upended by Gomez on a force play at second.
Pedroia will have the wrist examined in Boston on Monday, Farrell said, and had left by the end of Boston's 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees. Until the results of those tests are known, Farrell could not say whether Pedroia would be joining the team in Chicago, where the Red Sox open a three-game series against the White Sox on Tuesday night.
After a fast start, Pedroia is batting just .139 (5-for-36) in his last eight games. Farrell believes his slump is directly related to his injury.
"He's had increased symptoms of soreness in his left wrist," Farrell said. "He went down to hit today and the soreness continues to persist, and probably gained in intensity.
"I think there's probably a direct correlation to what we've seen at the plate. There hasn't been an event the past couple of days that's brought this onset further; it's just everyday play. The soreness increases, it's got to be checked out. Until we have some results or imaging of any kind, that's the best I can tell you right now."
Given Pedroia's aversion to missing time with an injury, there would seem to be legitimate grounds for concern that the injury could be significant. The Red Sox are hopeful that it doesn't come to this, but a team source acknowledged that it might be another situation where Pedroia is told the risks and rewards of playing with an injury, and will be faced with another decision to play or shut it down.
The Red Sox already have two regulars on the disabled list in Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks, and Koji Uehara missed the Yankees' series after reporting stiffness in the back of his shoulder on Friday.
Victorino and Uehara also were scheduled to return to Boston for exams, though the prognosis for both was encouraging: Victorino is expected to begin a rehab assignment in Portland on Tuesday, while Farrell said he expected Uehara would join the club in Chicago.
Middlebrooks is not eligible to come off the DL until Sunday and will continue his rehab work in Chicago. He took batting practice Sunday and hit a number of balls into the Yankee Stadium seats.