The countdown is on.
Dustin Pedroia hasn’t appeared in a major league game this season after undergoing knee surgery in October, but the Boston Red Sox second baseman finally has a target date for his return: May 25.
This comes via The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey, who spoke with Pedroia on Monday, three days after the 34-year-old played in his first game in extended spring training.
?I don?t fear doing anything when I?m out there right now,? Pedroia told McCaffrey. ?Last year I was trying to plan the game in my head with things I could do or stuff like that, now it?s just getting the reps in and getting ready for the season.?
According to McCaffrey, Pedroia will spend the next two weeks in Florida playing in extended spring training games, after which he hopes to join Triple-A Pawtucket to begin a rehab assignment May 12. The targeted plan, which Pedroia outlined to McCaffrey, calls for the four-time All-Star to follow a mapped-out cycle before eventually returning May 25 when the Red Sox begin a six-game homestand with three games against the Atlanta Braves.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was unsure Monday when asked about Pedroia’s target date but stressed the importance of staying patient. The Red Sox don’t want to rush Pedroia, only to see him land back on the disabled list.
“How many days does May have, 31 days? Put down May 32nd,? Cora joked with reporters, per the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. ?We’ll see. It’s a work in progress. Whenever he’s ready, he’ll be here.”
Pedroia, who’s battled various injuries throughout his career, is coming off a 2017 season in which he hit .293 with seven home runs, 62 RBIs and a .760 OPS in 105 games. He spent most of the season playing through a knee injury after Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles slid into his leg during a game in late April.