BOSTON — At different points throughout last season, Carl Crawford battled pain in his left wrist. Despite the soreness, the Red Sox allowed the four-time All-Star to enter the offseason as usual.
In hindsight, it may have been a mistake. After increasing hitting workouts around New Year's, Crawford continued to feel throbbing and ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday.
Even with the blunder, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has no qualms with the organization's approach.
"In this particular case, based on the research we've done and based on the conversations we've had, I don't think there's anything we could've done, practically speaking, sooner," Cherington said before the 73rd annual Boston Baseball Writers' dinner on Thursday.
"At the end of the season, he was essentially asymptomatic and he expressed he felt fine … the last thing we would do is be proactive in exploring a surgical solution for a player when there's no direct evidence that it’s needed. In this particular case, I don't think anything could’ve been done differently."
Former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick — who also attended the dinner — underwent a similar wrist procedure in November. Based on his recovery, he didn't anticipate that Crawford would miss significant time.
But Cherington emphasized the medical staff examined Crawford's wrist at the conclusion of the 2011 season. When the outfielder had an additional MRI this month, it subsequently revealed a change.
"Whenever some things happen, I think we always go back and think about whether there was any way we could of found it out earlier," Cherington said. "Having surgery in the first week of January is better than having surgery in the last week of March, but not as good as the first week of October."