Carl Crawford has minor elbow strain

BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford recently returned to Boston to have his left elbow examined by team doctors, who diagnosed him with a minor strain.

Crawford, who is currently on the disabled list while he continues to rehab from wrist surgery in January, said he suffered the recent elbow strain while throwing and acknowledged there's discomfort after the "motion at the end when I flick it."

As far as the wrist, he said he's feeling good.

"I'm just waiting to get back on the field," said Crawford, who addressed reporters in the Red Sox clubhouse before Friday's home opener. "I had to come up here to get my elbow checked and I think it was best to be here with the doctors for the next few days. I'm not sure when I'm going back to Fort Myers, but I should be heading back pretty soon."

Crawford was originally scheduled to play in a few extended spring training games this week, but that has been pushed back. He is hoping to get into some games in Fort Myers at some point next week.

"It's just a little setback, but hopefully I'll catch up," he said.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said there was still no timetable on Crawford's return.

"He's going to be able to DH ASAP, and in those games down there, I even think he can run around the outfield and hand it off if we're worried about him throwing," Valentine said. "The guys who are in charge of the rehab have to take control of that situation."

Crawford experienced the worst season of his pro career last year, his first with the Red Sox, and wants to forget everything about 2011. He even switched his locker in the clubhouse, moving into Jason Varitek's old stall.

"I needed to get outta there," he said pointing, to his old locker. "They should put yellow tape around that."

Also Friday, closer Andrew Bailey was seen walking around the clubhouse with a cast on his right hand, the result of surgery on his right thumb earlier this month. Bailey had the procedure to repair a torn ligament and is hoping to be back later in the season.

"It's getting better. I threw lefty today," the right-handed Bailey said with a laugh. "Everything is going well as can be. It's obviously frustrating and disappointing."

Bailey was smiling and jovial but he's clearly disappointed that he's not healthy to begin the season, especially with the home opener at Fenway Park on tap.

"Opening Day at Fenway is a special place to be," he said. "I'm here, so it's going to be fun, but it's not the same, obviously, but there will be many more moments I'll cherish here, especially late in the season."

Bailey will begin his rehab once he's able to have the stitches removed, which should be in a few days, he said. He should start to begin throwing at the eight-week mark of his strength and conditioning work, as long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks.