Bobby Valentine Says Carl Crawford May Need Minor League Rehab Assignment to Get ’50 At-Bats’

FORT MYERS, Fla. –– Bobby Valentine doesn’t like injury timetables. While he accidentally spewed out June 1 as a potential deadline for pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, he declined to disclose a date for Carl Crawford.

"The only thing I know about that is that you don't want to put the kid — anybody rehabbing — under the pressure of a deadline," Valentine said. "It can never be the calendar or the schedule that says when a guy is healthy. It can't be. It's not fair. It's just not fair."

A late-April return could be likely for Carl Crawford. In addition to possibly staying in Fort Myers, the Red Sox left fielder could be forced to rehab in some minor league games.

"Are we going to ask him to have 50 at-bats somewhere? Probably," Valentine said. "You've got to do the math on that one. That's 15 games at 3-point-something at-bats. If he gets 15 games from the time he starts playing, we have a target, but it's not a bull's-eye."

As Crawford awaits a return, he passes the days by standing in the batter’s box when Red Sox pitchers toss their bullpen sessions. The goal is to have his timing down.

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