Red Sox Injury Updates: Will Middlebrooks Sent Back To Boston With Flu

Will MiddlebrooksThe Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox will put the finishing touches on their three-game series Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field, as Jon Lester and Chris Sale battle in one of the season’s most intriguing pitching matchups.

The Red Sox, who snapped a three-game losing streak with a 14-inning win Wednesday, will begin a seven-game homestand Friday at Fenway Park. They’ll host the Baltimore Orioles for four games before welcoming Jacoby Ellsbury to town for his first time as a member of the New York Yankees.

But first, some injury notes came out of Thursday’s pregame media availability in Chicago. Let’s have a look.

– Mike Napoli, who dislocated his left ring finger Tuesday, will return to the Red Sox’s starting lineup Thursday. The swelling around his finger has gone down.

Napoli was removed in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game with his finger looking rather distorted. The slugger sat out Wednesday’s game because of the injury and previously was listed as day to day.

– Will Middlebrooks has remained with the Red Sox while rehabbing from a calf strain that landed him on the disabled list April 6. The third baseman came down with the flu, though, and has been sent back to Boston, according to manager John Farrell.

– Shane Victorino will work out with the Red Sox on Friday. The outfielder then will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket.

Victorino is expected to play Saturday, Monday and Tuesday with the PawSox, meaning he could return to the Red Sox as soon as Thursday.

– Koji Uehara, who has been dealing with shoulder tightness, is available for Thursday’s series finale. Uehara last pitched April 9.

Edward Mujica served as Boston’s closer in Uehara’s absence, and he blew a save in the 11th inning of Wednesday’s game before the Red Sox won in 14 innings.

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