Terry Francona Says Mike Lowell ‘Fortunate’ to Have Avoided More Serious Injury

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Red Sox first baseman Mike Lowell has no indications of a concussion but may undergo more tests before being given a clean bill of health and returning to action, manager Terry Francona said one day after Lowell was hit in the right side of his head with a bad-hop grounder.

According to Francona, the 36-year-old Lowell is "clear-eyed" less than 24 hours removed from the incident, which occurred in the fifth inning of Friday's game in New York.

"He is very sore in the jaw area, which I think Mikey thought he would be," Francona said. "Overall I think we're fortunate…Before we will let him play he'll have to do a couple of things."

The baseline testing that Lowell is scheduled to undergo was non-existent in Francona's days, giving the skipper a reason to be grateful for advancements in such knowldedge.

"Thankfully it's different. There's so much advancement in every area," he said. "There needs to be and it needs to continue to get better. Throwing a guy out there with somebody throwing 95 miles per hour and not being able to make a decision, that's scary."

Francona said that he himself suffered a handful of concussions in his playing days, all before he reached the big leagues. But he was never discouraged from stepping back on the field, and in some cases just the opposite.

Once, after suffering a concussion, Francona said he felt the pressure in his head was relieved when he ran. When his coach at the time found out about that he urged Francona to stay active.

"I don't think we knew any better," he said.

Lowell, who had reached base three times and scored three runs Friday night before the injury, was in uniform and able to take part in some pregame activities for Boston on Saturday afternoon.

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