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Injury roundup: Carl Crawford not close

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Carl CrawfordRed Sox outfielder Carl Crawford's recovery from January wrist surgery continues to progress at a slow pace. He suffered a setback earlier in camp and hasn't been able to swing a bat since. He also has no clear timetable for a return. "The only thing I know about that is that you don't want to put the kid, anybody rehabbing, under the pressure of a deadline," manager Bobby Valentine told Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald. "It can never be the calendar or the schedule that says when a guy is healthy. It can't be. It's not fair. It's just not fair."

Fair or not, the upshot is that Crawford, once he's able to swing a bat, will need about 50 ABs in order to get in major-league shape. The Herald translates that to 15 minor-league games before he's ready to return. As Valentine say, though, it's "a target . . . not a bull's-eye."

A conservative approach is certainly called for. Last season, Crawford tried to play through leg, elbow and neck injuries, and doing so sapped his production, which led to the widespread perception that he's somehow a free-agent bust after only one season in Boston. Yes, the Sox need Crawford, but not as badly as they need a healthy and vintage Crawford. Only time will provide that.

More injury-related news, notes and nuggets ...
  • Braves ace Tim Hudson will make his spring debut on Monday, when he's slated to work two innings against the Mets. It's possible he'll be ready to rejoin the rotation by the end of April. Elsewhere, Johnny Venters (elbow) logged a perfect inning in his first appearance since March 18. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

  • Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (facial fracture) will be back in the lineup on Friday. Manager Jim Leyland says Cabrera, if able, will play the remainder of the spring schedule. As well, outfielder Delmon Young, who DH'd on Thursday, should be back in the field by Friday. [MLB.com]

  • Indians right-hander Derek Lowe was forced to exit his Thursday start because of back spasms. However, he's still expected to be a part of the Cleveland rotation to start the season. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

  • Indians closer Chris Perez needed just five pitches to get through his one inning of work on Thursday. It was Perez's first appearance of the spring.

  • Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (shoulder) is scheduled to return to the lineup on Friday. [MASN]

  • Giants closer whiffed two in a 20-pitch minor-league outing on Thursday. It's possible that on Friday he'll throw on back-to-back days for the first time this spring. [San Francisco Chronicle]

  • News from the Philly bullpen ... Right-hander Mike Stutes has been scratched from his scheduled Friday appearance because of shoulder stiffness. Lefty Antonio Bastardo has suffered from decreased velocity this spring, but the team maintains there's nothing wrong with him. Finally, Jose Contreras might not be ready in time for opening day. [MLB.com]

  • Mets center fielder Andres Torres (calf) ran the bases on Thursday and, barring setbacks, should be ready for opening day. [MLB.com]

  • The Nats' Mark DeRosa was a late scratch today because of tightness in his calf. DeRosa figures to see time in left field should Mike Morse be forced to start the season on the DL. [Washington Post]

  • Rays fourth outfielder Sam Fuld could be facing surgery as early as Tuesday on the injured tendon in his right wrist. After the procedure, he'll have no clear timetable for his return. [Tampa Tribune]

  • X-Rays on the injured right forearm of Rays reliever Fernando Rodney showed no fracture. He'll resume throwing soon. [Tampa Bay Times]

  • Marlins reliever Jose Ceda is likely facing Tommy John surgery. [MLB.com]

  • Desmond Jennings should see primary duty in center field for the Rays while B.J. Upton is on the DL.

  • Lefty Ted Lilly will throw a bullpen session on Friday, and at that point his status for the opening of the season. If he requires a stint on the DL, then Chris Capuano will replace him in the Dodger rotation. [Los Angeles Times]

  • Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton (hip) will open the season on the DL, but he should be activated in time to make his first start of the season on April 14. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

  • Jays first baseman Adam Lind (back) could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday. [MLB.com]

RELATED: Projected lineups, rotations and closers for all 30 teams

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