BOSTON — Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino has suffered another setback.
Victorino, who was expected to start another rehab assignment Wednesday with Single-A Lowell, experienced “increased symptoms” related to his ailing back this week, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. The 33-year-old’s rehab will begin no earlier than Thursday and he will not return to the Red Sox before the All-Star break.
The Red Sox weren’t planning on Victorino returning before the All-Star break, even before his most recent setback, but the “increased symptoms” certainly add to the veteran outfielder’s difficult season. Victorino, who has played in just 21 major league games in 2014, hasn’t appeared in a game for Boston since May 23 and has been shut down since June 24 because he tweaked his back during a rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket.
“He’s been missed,” Farrell said before Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. “His energy, his defense, what he’s done at the plate for us. His vacancy has left a hole in our lineup. And that’s not to be critical of anyone else who has played in the outfield, that’s to say Shane Victorino was a heck of a player for us last year. And we miss that player.”
Victorino is expected to play in five consecutive games once his rehab begins. The current plan calls for Victorino’s rehab assignment to ramp up in intensity until he plays a full nine innings.