Crawford's tweaked groin will delay return

Crawford's tweaked groin will delay return

Crawford's tweaked groin will delay return
BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford's rehab clock will be reset because of his left groin, and he will not be in the Major League lineup to start the second half of the season.

A team spokesperson said Saturday morning that Crawford had suffered a mild left groin strain. Manager Bobby Valentine later characterized the decision to stop Crawford's current rehab stint as preventative.

"He hit a triple [on Thursday] and when he turned second, he just felt a little twinge there," Valentine said. "Taking a couple days off from hitting and playing. He's going to go right back in and start hitting soon in a game. It's not a strain or anything. It's ice prevention. Or it's a little preventative thing to make sure it doesn't get worse."

Position players have 20 days to rehab in the Minor Leagues. Crawford's first rehab game came June 23 in the Gulf Coast League, which made Saturday the 15th day of his current stint. The groin situation gives the Sox and Crawford the benefit or more rehab time.

Crawford cannot go back into rehab games until five days have passed.

Perhaps more concerning for the Red Sox is that Crawford's left elbow still causes discomfort, but not while hitting, he said Friday. A UCL sprain in that elbow has kept him out much of the season.

"It's not 100 percent healthy, but I'm able to hit," Crawford said Friday, "so I said pretty much whenever I'm able to start hitting the ball and swinging the bat, then I'll play."

Valentine said the elbow is a situation that continues to require monitoring.

"A red flag?" Valentine said when asked if that's what Crawford's characterization of his elbow raised. "You mean a red flag that there's still something in his elbow? I think we have to manage that situation as he plays. And maybe it's just a caution flag."