Napoli's lingering finger injury is a big issue

BOSTON -- Offseason surgery could be a possibility for Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli as manager John Farrell on Thursday deemed him "unlikely" to return for the remainder of the season due to injuries to his back, toe and finger.

"It's a combination of all of them -- it's the finger, it's the toe, it's the back," Farrell said. "There's a number of things that he's dealing with."

While the back and toe figure to recover with rest, Napoli's left ring finger has continued to be a problem for him this season since he dislocated it on a headfirst slide into second base back in April.

Asked whether surgery would be an option to fix the problem, Farrell said those internal conversations had begun.

"That's all going on right now," Farrell said.

Napoli was placed on the disabled list in May as a result of the injury and missed 14 games. Since being activated, he's needed to wrap his fingers together in the dugout before each at-bat to deal with the pain.

Napoli hit .248 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs this season, but he has batted just .186 since the start of August.

"It had an impact, there's no question," Farrell said of Napoli's finger injury. "When he was dealing with the swelling that was there for pretty much the remainder of the season, it affected the grip strength. I would think at some level it affects the force in which he's able to swing a bat."

Farrell added, "And yet, he did what he could to get through it. He also missed some time because it piled up on him and had to take a step back for a couple of weeks on the DL. It definitely had an impact on him."

Having last played Sept. 17, Napoli has shown little improvement with regard to the ailments he's dealing with, prompting the decision to keep him off the field through the team's final four games.