The wait continues for Dustin Pedroia, and it’s indefinite.
The Boston Red Sox second baseman is set to go down to Arizona on Friday so he can continue to rehab and build up strength in his knee following offseason cartilage restoration surgery. Pedroia played in three games in late May after coming off the disabled list, but quickly landed back on the DL with inflammation and has not played since.
The 34-year-old gave an update on how things are going, noting that he doesn’t have a timetable for a return to action, as much as he’d like one.
“There’s no timetable,” Pedroia told reporters, via MassLive. “I can’t control how the human body heals. I’d love to. I’d love to play right now. But I can’t. Once everything heals permanently and I get checked out with MRI to see how I’m progressing… once that happens and I maintain my strength and keep working hard at that, it shouldn’t be long. Hopefully I just heal fast.
“That was just the point of ‘it’s not all the way healed yet,'” Pedroia added. “Once it does, then I could handle, instead of five weeks, six months or a year and then I’d be good. It’s a coincidence it happened here.”
Pedroia made sure to note that his lack of time on the field isn’t the result of a problem due to the surgery. It long has been made clear that inflammation likely was going to affect him at some point or another. In fact, Steven Wright underwent the same surgery and also sits on the disabled list with inflammation.
As such, Pedroia’s emphasis is on caution so that he doesn’t dangerously impact his knee long term.
“You can’t risk it,” Pedroia said. “If I come back too early and the graf fails, then that’s it. When I came back, everyone thought, since I’m a smaller guy and don’t bear a lot of weight, that I could play while I was healing. Obviously, I couldn’t. That’s normal. It’s not like the surgery failed or anything like that. It just takes time for it to heal all the way and then build it up from there. It’s not gonna be an issue anymore (after that).”
So could Pedroia return this season? Maybe so, maybe not.
He wouldn’t commit either way to a possible return but did give an idea of what would need to happen in order for him to get back on the field this season.
“If I get this thing MRI’d in four or five weeks and it’s fully healed, then I’ll play this year,” Pedroia said. “If they MRI it in five weeks and it’s three quarters of the way healed, then I probably won’t. You can’t do anything about time.”
With Pedroia now in his mid-30s, speculation has floated about this being the potential end of the road for him. But Alex Cora doesn’t think that’s the case, and it sure sounds like Pedroia doesn’t believe it is either.
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