BOSTON — Carl Crawford may have to wait until July 18 to return to the Red Sox lineup, according to manager Terry Francona.
Crawford, out since June 18 with a strained left hamstring, was hoping to return during the team's current homestand. He ran the bases Tuesday at Fenway Park, one of the last major hurdles before he can come back 100 percent.
However, with Crawford's legs so vital to his game, the club wants to make sure of that 100 percent mark and didn't want to rush things with the All-Star break approaching. Also, with the first series after the intermission to be played on the difficult turf in Tampa Bay, it was deemed best to hold Crawford out until the team gets to Baltimore on the 18th.
"I don't know if that's in anybody's best interest," Francona said of trying to reintroduce Crawford to the lineup on the Tropicana Field turf.
Crawford was injured legging out an infield single against Milwaukee on June 17. He is batting .243 with six home runs and eight stolen bases in 67 games.