Another setback for Crawford (groin strain)

July, 7, 2012
BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford (elbow/wrist) has been removed from his minor league rehab assignment with a mild left groin strain.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine explained that Crawford felt “a little twinge” when he hit a triple during Thursday’s rehab game with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. He was set to come off the disabled list in time for the first series after the All-Star break on Friday against his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays.

“He’s taking a couple of days off from hitting and playing, but he’s going to go right back in and start hitting again soon in a game,” Valentine said.

Now that he’s being shut down for a few days, it will likely delay his return to the Red Sox lineup until the start of a homestand on July 16. Playing his first game at Fenway would be better for him than playing his first games of the season on the artificial surface at Tropicana Field.

This delay will also give him a chance to appear in a few more minor league games next weekend before he returns.

Meanwhile, fellow rehabbing outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will play for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday at McCoy Stadium. He went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored for the Sea Dogs Friday night. Overall, he’s 4 for 19 with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs, four runs scored and four walks in six rehab games.

In other injury news, Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is scheduled to make a 40-pitch rehab start for the PawSox on Sunday at McCoy Stadium against Syracuse. The right-hander has been on the DL since suffering a gastrointestinal bleed that resulted in a five-day hospital stay. If everything goes well, he’ll be scheduled to pitch in the first series after the All-Star break against the Rays. He last pitched on June 19.

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (hamstring) is running, taking ground balls and hitting in the cage. After hitting in the cage during Friday’s game, he reported no setbacks. Even though he wants to play at some point in this series, Valentine explained he would rather give it an extra day for precautionary reasons.

“He’s close,” Valentine said, who added that Saturday’s nightcap would probably not be a possibility for Middlebrooks. But the rookie could be available to pinch hit if needed.

Before Saturday, Middlebrooks has missed the last four games with the injury.

Outfielder Ryan Sweeney (toe inflammation) continued his rehab assignment with Portland on Friday and went 0 for 3. He’s 1 for 7 in two rehab games with the Sea Dogs.

Right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter, who is recovering from elbow surgery, is scheduled to pitch for Single-A Greenville on Sunday.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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