Crawford visit to Andrews 'fact-finding mission'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine termed Carl Crawford's impending visit to orthopedist James Andrews a "fact-finding mission" to determine the cause of continuing discomfort in his left elbow.

Valentine said it was his understanding that Crawford had not yet visited Andrews but was trying to make an appointment. Asked whether Crawford might require surgery, Valentine said: "Is surgery a possibility? I haven't heard any reason to do surgery, a surgical procedure being necessary. I haven't heard that. Hope not.''

Crawford began the season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery in January to repair damage in his left wrist. He developed discomfort in his left elbow, he said, while the Sox were still in training camp in Florida, and flew to Boston to undergo an MRI on April 10, just days before the Sox home opener. He had a scheduled follow-up exam Tuesday, when the decision was made to seek a second opinion.

"The elbow has improved, but [there's] still some soreness, so he's going to get a second opinion,'' GM Ben Cherington said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Crawford has been limited to DHing in extended spring games.

"The only thing I heard is he hadn't been throwing for a couple of days, he was shagging, he picked up a ball and lobbed it in and he still felt something,'' Valentine said, "and so that's what raised concerns.

"Sometimes you haven't thrown in a few days and you didn't warm up and you didn't expect to throw and you throw. It's not like he's tried to throw and said I can't throw. I'll bet if this was the seventh game of the World Series and he had to advance it in he could advance it in.''

When asked how he would categorize the visit to Andrews, he said: "I can't categorize it. It's a fact-finding mission. Maybe that's how I'll categorize it.''