After missing six games with a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, the Red Sox second baseman is returning to lineup against the Orioles as he dons a customized splint to prevent further damage.
Before Tuesday's game, Bobby Valentine consulted Pedroia one more time to ensure his safety. Less than two hours later, the Red Sox skipper was pleased with the pair's conversation.
"The little heart-to-heart with Dustin was, 'Tell me the truth. You' re not allow to cross fingers or any of that stuff,'" Valentine said. "He said that he feels perfect. He has no reservations about doing everything he has to do out on the baseball field. There's no swelling. There's no pain.
"There's 100 percent green light from the training room. He will wear a little protective device when he hits to keep whatever happened from happening again."
With the training staff's blessing, Pedroia will likely avoid the disabled list. In 48 games this season, the second baseman has sparked the Red Sox' offense, hitting .295 with five homers and 21 RBIs.
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