Carl Crawford Likely to Need Tommy John Surgery, But Will Attempt to Play This Season

Carl Crawford Likely to Need Tommy John Surgery, But Will Attempt to Play This SeasonBOSTON –– The urge to play is pulling at Carl Crawford.

Despite dealing with discomfort in his elbow, the Red Sox outfielder wants to return to the Red Sox after the All-Star break. But the decision comes with risks, since Crawford admitted that he’d likely need Tommy John surgery over the offseason.

“It’s one of those deals where it is what it is,” Crawford said. “Probably at some point [the elbow's] going to go out on me. Thought about [doing surgery now], but at this point, if I can play, I think they want me out on the field. I’m just trying to do everything I can to get back on the field.”

That process has gone a little slower than expected. During his stint in Double-A, Crawford suffered a mild groin strain after ripping a triple. The setback forced the Red Sox to restart his rehab assignment clock.

Crawford, however, believes the injury was overblown and wasn’t as devastating as many deemed. With proper treatment and extra stretching, the four-time All-Star is confident that he’ll resume his rehab in Pawtucket relatively soon.

“The thing is, I do that every year,” Crawford said of the groin strain. “It’s like spring training for me, so I’m starting back running again, and I always get tight in that area. It’s just one of those things that it always happens to me.

“We’re just taking care of it. I know how things are around here: Once you say one little thing, it goes way bigger than what it really is. That’s it, pretty much.”

Whenever Crawford returns, don’t expect him to fire bullets from the outfield to home plate. Due to the lingering issues in his elbow, the 30-year-old will likely be limited with his tosses.

“Probably be best for me to throw it to the cutoff man,” Crawford said. “But I can’t say once I get into game action and the competitiveness takes over and you want to make certain throws. I can say I’m probably supposed to throw it to the cutoff man, but sometimes you still might try to make a certain throw.”

It’s a risky move, but Crawford is determined to play in 2012.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.