Dustin Pedroia and Isaiah Thomas may play different sports, but Alex Cora sees some similarities in the two athletes.

Pedroia has been rehabbing a knee injury after undergoing surgery following the Red Sox’s 2017 season. He played in just three games in 2018 for Boston before missing the remainder of the campaign. The 35-year-old is looking to make his comeback in 2019 to help his team defend its World Series championship.

Thomas, on the other hand, hasn’t been on a basketball court (until Wednesday night) due to a hip injury that kept him sidelined for nearly a year. He played in limited games for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers before signing with the Denver Nuggets last summer.

There is no doubt both players worked hard to get back to their respective sports, and Sox manager Alex Cora made some connections while watching highlights of Thomas’ return.

“It’s funny because I was watching some highlights from the NBA yesterday and Isaiah Thomas comes out and I thought about Pedey,” Cora said, via MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “You know, it’s a slow grind I guess. Hopefully, it pays off. … We all know what he can bring at the plate and defensively. He makes us better. Looking forward to work with him and take care of him. Hopefully, he’ll be leading off in Seattle the first game of the season.”

Both athletes certainly could provide a boost to their teams. And if Pedroia is close to 100 percent healthy this season, he couple provide a spark in the Red Sox’s lineup as well as on the field.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports