Lowell: Sox won't release me

BOSTON -- Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has abandoned any expectation that the Red Sox will release him, allowing him the chance to play elsewhere.

“I don’t think they’re going to release me,’’ said Lowell, who returned here Saturday after spending the past two weeks at home in Miami with the club’s permission.

“I think that’s been addressed. I’ve got no say. What do you want me to do?’’

With Lowell playing little here and not producing when he has -- he’s batting .213 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs in 31 games overall, and is 4-for-his-past-45 (.103) -- why wouldn’t the Sox release him? Are they concerned that he would catch on with a team like the Rangers, who have a need for a right-handed hitting first baseman, and do something to beat the Sox in the playoffs?

"I don’t know if it’s specifically because I might beat them, I just don’t think they want me to go to another team while they pay my salary,’’ Lowell said. “At this point, they’re not going to get anything [in a trade]. You’re going to get a subpar prospect at best. There’s too much time left in the season, they’re not going to get money.

“I don’t know to what lengths and what teams have spoken with them. Maybe nobody wants me. Maybe there are four that want me. I’ve been hearing a lot of different things. I just don’t know.’’

The immediate plan is for Lowell to go to New York on Monday for a cortisone shot in his surgically repaired right hip, to be administered by Dr. Bryan Kelly, the doctor who performed the original surgery to repair a torn labrum in the hip in October, 2008.

"I think that will take me over the top to feeling good,’’ he said. “I can run around and everything, but I think that just gives me a lot more flexibility.’’

When he returns, manager Terry Francona said, Lowell will begin a rehabilitation assignment Thursday in Triple-A Pawtucket. A position player is permitted a maximum of 20 days on rehab assignment before he must be restored to the major league roster.

“I’m not opposed to [do a rehab assignment],’’ Lowell said. “I’d like to get at-bats, and the guys are healthy at the three positions I play. Like I tell everyone, if I played basically any other position than the three I can play -- first base, DH and third -- I’d probably have at-bats.

“There’s no joy in feeling 10 times better than last year and not playing, especially when we’re at a critical part of the season and I feel I could help our offense. The thing is, I don’t play second, I don’t play center, I don’t catch. I mean, I was drafted as a catcher, but I think my hip would take a beating there.’’