Pedroia to start season on injured list for Red Sox

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will start the season on the injured list as he continues his recovery from a chronic left knee injury.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced the decision Monday, emphasizing that Pedroia has not experienced any setbacks from the injury that sidelined him for almost the entire 2018 season.

Pedroia told reporters that he is "ready for Opening Day" but understands why the Red Sox are taking a conservative approach. The defending World Series champions open their season March 28 in Seattle against the Mariners.

"They have had to hold me back. I'm ready for Opening Day," Pedroia said, according to MLB.com. "It's just they're scared. No one has ever come back from something like this. They want me to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone is 100 percent confident that when I come back, I come back and stay back and not have any issues."

Cora told reporters that the Red Sox are "running out of time" to get Pedroia ready for game action and that the organization wants the 2008 MVP to spend extended time in spring training.

"We're going to keep him on schedule," Cora said, according to MLB.com. "He'll play Tuesday. He'll play Thursday. He'll play Saturday. Then he will play one of the two (exhibition) games against the Cubs (next week), and then he'll come back here to keep building up."

Pedroia underwent cartilage replacement surgery on his left knee after the 2017 season and played in only three games for the Red Sox last season before going back on the DL for the remainder of the season.