Drew: Shoulder injury 'coming along'

July, 28, 2011
BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew finally discussed his shoulder injury Thursday morning for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list on July 26 (retroactive to July 20).

It’s being described as an impingement in his left shoulder and Drew explained the issue is with his rotator cuff. He said he has dealt with the injury since spring training and admitted he’s received a few cortisone injections this season, with the most recent coming last week.

“The shoulder’s been nagging quite a while, but everything’s coming along and I’m just trying to get some strength back in there,” explained Drew. “Impingement, irritation, tendonitis or whatever you want to call it has developed over a period of time and [the shoulder] has gotten weaker and weaker.”

Because of the discomfort, Drew developed a few bad habits at the plate and he says that’s why his offensive numbers are down this season. He’s batting .219 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 77 games.

Drew said he’s unable to create bat speed and he’s been jumping at balls. He called it a “frustrating battle.”

Drew always had one of the sweetest left-handed swings in the league during his career. It’s fluid and he keeps both hands on the bat during the entire swing process, but of late he’s been releasing his top hand, which has had a negative effect on his production.

“I’m just trying to battle through and get some strength back,” Drew said. “

In Drew's place, outfielder Josh Reddick has been playing well for the Sox and now has become the everyday right fielder.

“Josh has played great, man,” Drew said. “He’s probably one of the most improved players I’ve seen. He went from one extreme to another and it’s been fun to watch.”

It’s no secret that Drew is seriously considering retirement after this season, but right now he’s focused on getting healthy and returning to the lineup.

“Yeah. Oh, yeah,” Drew said. “I wanna get to a point where strength-wise, when I go out and start swinging the bat that I can control that irritation, so it doesn’t have too much of an impact. Once I’m pain-free I’ll be fine.

“This has been a frustrating year. Feeling the effects of this [injury] and trying to figure things out at the plate has been my main focus. I want to get back to normal, keep rolling and help this team in any way I can.”

If he’s able to return, he’s proven during his career that August, September and October are his most productive months. He has a .276 career average in August with 27 homers and 95 RBIs in 242 games. He’s also combined for a .291 average during the months of September and October, along with 42 homers and 141 RBIs in 262 games.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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