Carl Crawford to start throwing program Friday

Injured Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford is set to begin a throwing program Friday, reports the Boston Globe. This is significant because, at this point, not being able to throw is the only thing keeping Crawford off the field.

Crawford had offseason surgery on his left wrist and opened the season on the disabled list. Then, in April, he suffered a partially torn UCL in his elbow -- which may have led to Tommy John surgery, if Crawford were a pitcher.

"My wrist is great, I don't even get treatment for that any more," Crawford said ( "It's pretty much 100 percent at this point."

"My elbow feels a lot better," he added ( "We'll know for sure once I start throwing."

Crawford has been running and taking batting practice for a while. So it's just a matter of when his arm can handle the outfield, and then he'll work himself into game shape on a minor-league rehab assignment. There's still no timetable for his return.

Crawford, 30, had a disaster of a season for the Red Sox in 2011, after signing a seven-year, $142 million contract. He hit .255/.289/.405 with full-season career lows in runs, triples, steals, walks, average and on-base percentage.

Don't write him off based upon 2011, though. In 2010, he hit .307/.356/.495 with 19 homers, 90 RBI, 110 runs, 30 doubles, 13 triples and 47 stolen bases for the Rays. And if you think one bad season buries someone, I'll politely ask you to look at what Adam Dunn is doing this season.

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CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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