Since he is sidelined with a broken left foot, Dustin Pedroia has to find competition any way he can. For now, it is beating the doctors' timetable of six weeks to return to action.
After a CT scan taken Friday afternoon showed some good healing in the foot, he still has a chance. However, Pedroia, who is off crutches and can put weight on the foot, will wear a boot on the foot for up to two more weeks.
"They said my bone is healing good," Pedroia said. "There already is some of it forming back together. But I'll have to be in the boot for a couple of weeks, which stinks, and they kinda of told me I can't play until I don't feel anything because I guess that bone can break off."
Therein lies the issue. If Pedroia pushes anything too hard he runs the risk of causing the bone to break again, which would end his season. That threat will cause him to pull back the reins once in awhile, despite his desire to get going.
"That's the thing that I'm gonna have a problem with is lying to [the doctors]," he added. "I'll be honest about it. I don't want to come back too soon and play three games and then be out for the rest of the year. That would be stupid and it wouldn't really help us in the long run."
Pedroia went on the 15-day disabled list on June 26. Six weeks off would put him back in the lineup during a series in New York the first weekend of August.
He will be fitted with a protective shoe and has a shin guard he will wear when he does return.
Until then, team officials just hope Pedroia curbs his competitive spirit just a bit.
"What I'm worried about is he'll try to do too much," manager Terry Francona said. "Listening to the doctors, they're relying on him a little bit, which scares everybody.
"If he's sore he'll back off, and getting an honest answer out of him is tough. All the qualities that we love in him, we don't want him to hurt himself."
Catcher Jason Varitek also had his broken left foot scanned Friday. He is "probably a couple of weeks behind" Pedroia, Francona said. Varitek remains on crutches and has yet to see any significant healing in the foot.