Mike Lowell Activated, Starting at First Base as Kevin Youkilis Heads to DL

The dilemma surrounding Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has been solved temporarily. Lowell will be activated prior to Tuesday's game against the Indians and will play first base and bat sixth for the Red Sox.

Lowell will take the place of Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who is heading to the disabled list with a torn muscle in his right thumb. The first baseman left Monday night's loss to Cleveland after jamming his thumb in his first at-bat.

"It was kind of unclear and there's still some gray area here," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of the injury. "He has a muscle tear that we quite frankly don't know the extent of. He's going to certainly get another opinion … they're searching for some answers because this is quite rare, how it happened is a little bit hard to explain.

"We will be quickly trying to get some more answers. In the meantime, there was no way we were going to let him play and take a swing and hurt his career."

Lowell's future with the Red Sox had been uncertain until this point as he just recently finished his rehab assignment recovering from a nagging hip injury.

Francona wouldn't talk about the nature of the discussions the organization had with Lowell leading up to the decision, but did say that the team will keep an eye on his amount of playing time as he continues to get healthy.

"Mikey won't play every day, that's not fair to him," Francona insisted adding that the versatilty that infielder Jed Lowrie gives them will be able to help as well.

Lowell has played in only 31 games this season for the Red Sox, but was hitting .500 (11-for-22) with four home runs during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket.

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