Red Sox GM talks Carl Crawford surgery

BOSTON -- There have been some questions why the Boston Red Sox and Carl Crawford waited until January for the outfielder to have surgery on his sore left wrist, but general manager Ben Cherington explained on Thursday that at the end of the 2011 season there were no indications that the left fielder was having problems.

Crawford recently had arthroscopic surgery and could likely miss the start of the season. He will, however, be ready for baseball activities during spring training.

"Whenever something like this happens, we always go back and think about whether if there was any way we could've done something earlier," Cherington said. "Having surgery the first week of January is a lot better than the last week in March, but not as good as the first week of October."

Cherington explained that at the end of the 2011 season, Crawford felt no symptoms other than the normal aches and pains after a 162-game season.

"The last thing that we would do is be proactive in exploring surgical solutions for a player when there's no direct evidence that's needed," Cherington said. "In this particular case, we felt our medical staff handled it as well as it possibly could, and Carl handled it as well as he possibly could."

As soon as Crawford began to ramp up his offseason workouts, he felt a little bit of a difference and called the team immediately. He was checked, had another MRI taken and it showed a little bit of change since the one he had after the team originally signed him. With that discovery, the team felt it best for the left fielder to have the procedure.

"We have to trust the player," Cherington said. "They're the ones out there playing. If they feel like their bodies are good enough to play ... the last thing we would want to do is induce a concern to them unnecessarily because then you start getting into issues of confidence and things of that nature, those things we want to avoid."

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.