Boston Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr. Could Avoid DL

Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. sprained a ligament in his right knee, but it’s possible he will avoid a trip to the 10-day disabled list.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his right knee on Sunday after he lost his footing while rounding first base against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, per Scott Lauber of ESPN.com.

Here’s a video of the injury.

His knee appeared stable upon first examination at Comerica Park, but the Boston Red Sox are sending Bradley back to Boston after he woke up with swelling and inflammation the next day. Team doctors will determine if Bradley needs to go to the 10-day DL. Per Lauber:

“I think it’s just to have extra eyes on it, have our doctors look at it and go from there,” Bradley said after sitting out on Sunday. “I feel a lot better. I already got some treatment on it. Feel like it’s going in the right direction.”

Lauber noted that Bradley exited Saturday’s game with an upbeat tone, joking that he wouldn’t miss Sunday’s game because he’s “built like Secretariat.”

Despite the uncertainty about its severity, Bradley’s injury comes at a tough time for the Red Sox. Right fielder Mookie Betts and first baseman/designated hitter Hanley Ramirez missed time over the weekend due to the flu, while shortstop Xander Bogaerts missed three games while on the bereavement list.

With Bogaerts set to return on Monday, the Red Sox were finally expected to show off their potent lineup. But manager John Farrell said the team doesn’t want to risk additional damage by playing Bradley through the injury.

“I feel like I can move around pretty good,” Bradley said via Lauber. “I think that’s why they want the doctors to see it to kind of determine how much leeway they’re going to let me have.”

If Bradley were to miss an extended period of time, outfielder Steve Selsky and veteran Chris Young would likely form a platoon in his place. Both have experience in center field, but the young Andrew Benintendi could shift to center for the best defensive alignment. Without Bradley, however, the Red Sox outfield defense would take a major blow. Here’s evidence.

In 14 at-bats this season, the 26-year-old Bradley has collected four hits with one triple, three runs scored and two RBI.

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