Red Sox targeting May 11 return for Victorino

Red Sox targeting May 11 return for Victorino

BOSTON -- Injured right fielder Shane Victorino could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Friday, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, with Victorino's eventual return projected for the following Monday.

Victorino, on the 15-day disabled after straining his right hamstring, is eligible to be activated in time for a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday. However, the team has opted to keep the 34-year-old veteran sidelined until it travels to Oakland on May 11, citing concerns over the artificial turf installed at Rogers Centre this year.

"We didn't really have any thoughts of activating Vic in Toronto, because of the turf and the reports of what's affecting players' legs and low back," Farrell said on Sunday. "We didn't want to risk that, so that kind of points toward Oakland, provided there are no setbacks."

Victorino will increase the intensity of his recovery at Fenway Park this week before playing two or three rehab games with Double-A Portland. While Boston considered giving him live at-bats earlier in the week, the schedules of its Minor League affiliates -- both Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket were on the road this past week -- influenced the decision to push the assignment back a few days.

"There has been a lot of discussion. What would be best? Getting three at-bats in a DH role or really ramp up the volume?" Farrell said. "We're going to keep him here. It still allows us to look at the second leg of the road trip as an activation."

Victorino went 5-for-35 with six walks and a stole a pair of bases in 12 games before suffering the injury late last month.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.