But after rushing his rehab — and suffering a setback — in spring training, the outfielder can't accelerate the process. Still, while he intends to follow the training staff's protocol, he's anxious to help absorb the blow of Ellsbury's injury.
"I definitely know the team is in need of some help right now, and I would like to help as much as possible," Crawford said. "But I have to follow the script they got me on. As soon as I get out there — I'm anxious to be out there — I hope to contribute."
Crawford is scheduled to return to Fort Myers on Monday, where he'll serve as a designated hitter in extended spring training action. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine anticipates he'll start getting his at-bats on Tuesday.
Since returning to Boston for examinations on his elbow, Crawford has been a fixture at Fenway, taking frequent swings in the batting cages. The piercing crack of his bat may have triggered Saturday’s 13-5 outburst.
"He might have even been part of the inspiration for our play," Valentine said. "He was taking [batting practice] during the game in the cage. The sound was so loud that I think it inspired some of our guys to hit the ball hard. He was really making a loud noise in that batting cage."
With Ellsbury possibly sidelined for six to eight weeks, there's a chance that Crawford could be penciled in higher in the order, where's he been more comfortable during his career.
On the heels of last year's circus, Crawford said he wasn't going to overanalyze his potential place in the lineup.
"Wherever I hit, that's where I'll hit. I don't try to anticipate where I'll hit anymore. I'm just kind of waiting to get back and see what happens," Crawford said. "If [Valentine] wants to put me up there, that's fine. If not, just I'll hit where I hit."
The upside for the Red Sox is Crawford feels "pain-free." For the 30-year-old, the only pain he's experienced was watching his counterpart in the outfield, Ellsbury, suffer a subluxed right shoulder.
As he strives to fill the vacancy, he'll be diligent.
"When you hear the news, everybody"s not happy about it," Crawford said of Ellsbury's injury. "You hate to see that happen, but as far me feeling urgent — no. I have to stick to the plan the training staff has me on, so I can't even if I wanted to, I couldn't do anything extra."
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