J.D. Drew Due Back Thursday, Kevin Youkilis Expected to Return Friday As Red Sox Reload for Final Month

BOSTON — The cavalry's coming. Sort of.

In the coming days, the Red Sox will gain considerable depth in three areas. J.D. Drew is expected to rejoin the team Thursday after completing a rehab stint with Pawtucket, and Kevin Youkilis should be back Friday as he tries to return from a strained back.

The club also will bring in one pitcher during the first wave of September call-ups, although Terry Francona did not say who that pitcher will be.

"The hope would be that we get J.D. back, that's an outfielder. Youk the next day, that's an infielder," Francona said. "We definitely want to get a pitcher here. Other than that, I think we're going to almost take it day by day."

Francona added that Ryan Lavarnway will be brought up Sept. 5, when he is eligible to return.

Lavarnway hit .304 (7-for-23) with three RBIs and four walks in seven games earlier this month before being optioned back to Pawtucket. He could provide a nice right-handed bat off the bench when he comes back, as well as a third catcher.

Beyond those four players, Francona said the team will stand pat. At least for now.

"You never want to get caught short," he said. "At the same time, just calling guys up to put them in the bullpen or have them sit on the bench, I'm not sure that's in anybody's best interest. If we ever run short, we can get somebody up the next day and these guys can continue to do what they're doing [elsewhere]."

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