Justin Turner has made positive strides in his recovery, and the Red Sox infielder could be on track to a return.
The 2020 World Series champion took a fastball to the face in a spring training exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers on March 6. Turner avoided serious harm, and Boston expressed hope he would be ready by Opening Day.
That wish might come true Friday as Alex Cora told reporters Turner would take the field, and if things go well, he will be in the lineup Monday as the designated hitter, according to The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.
Cora added Yu Chang is scheduled to return to the team until his visa issues are resolved. Rafael Devers made his return Friday from the World Baseball Classic after the Dominican Republic fell short against Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Turner will wear a C-flap helmet Friday for the first time but said he has resisted it up to this point in his career because he doesn’t want anything in his field of vision, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Turner said.
Boston knows Corey Kluber will be the team’s Opening Day starter, but Cora will have things to work out starting Friday before finalizing the batting order for the first game of the 2023 Major League Baseball season.