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Report: Carl Crawford to return to Red Sox by July 16

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Carl Crawford might soon be patrolling the Fenway outfield for real. (Getty Images)

July 16 in Fenway could be a rather big series. Not only will the contending White Sox be in town with prodigal third baseman Kevin Youkilis in tow, but the Red Sox might also welcome Carl Crawford back to the active roster at that same time.

Indeed, Buster Olney of ESPN tweets that Crawford is on target to rejoin Boston in time for that four-game set that begins Monday. Crawford, who has yet to play this season, recently had to put his minor-league rehab assignment on hold because of a setback. Even if he's activated on the 16th, Crawford will be limited by his injured elbow, which will likely eventually require Tommy John surgery.

The 30-year-old Crawford is in the second season of a seven-year, $142-million contract. In 2011, a long string of injuries sapped his production and led to a slash line of .255/.289/.405.

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