After hearing a bone in his right wrist snap, Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks gladly listened to a bit of better news.
Boston’s third baseman does not need surgery.
”We’ll see how it goes for a few weeks,” Middlebrooks said Sunday. ”They (doctors) said it should heal just fine without surgery.”
Middlebrooks said he is ”not sure” if he will be able to return this season, however.
Middlebrooks hit .288 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 75 games.
”I almost felt the crunch, though I don’t know if was just the Velcro on my batting glove,” Middlebrooks said of getting hit by a pitch from Indians reliever Esmil Rogers in the ninth inning Friday night.
”I felt it and heard it. … I think that’s what it was.”
The 23-year-old Middlebrooks said he was in a lot of pain and knew he was in trouble the instant he got drilled by a wayward fastball.
”I’ve been hit in the wrist before, but never had it broken,” he said. ”But here we are, trying to win games, get to the playoffs and I can’t help.”
Danny Valencia, acquired in a trade from Minnesota on Aug. 5, started at third Sunday as Boston tried to salvage a split of a four-game series against Cleveland. Utility man Pedro Ciriaco started there Saturday night.
The Red Sox, losers of eight of 11, have had 25 players go on the disabled list this season.
Manager Bobby Valentine is still uncertain when designated hitter David Ortiz will return from a heel injury that has sidelined him nearly a month. Ortiz did some running in the outfield before the game.
”They (trainers) tell me if he has a full workout and doesn’t feel pain afterward, he’s ready to go,” Valentine said. ”That hasn’t happened. He’s done workouts and is sore at that specific spot.”
Valentine said right-handers Andrew Bailey and Daisuke Matsuzaka are progressing on minor-league rehab assignments.
Bailey, out since having right thumb surgery, is scheduled to pitch an inning at Triple-A Pawtucket. Valentine doesn’t know when the closer could be back.
”We’ll try to get seven innings out of Dice K,” Valentine said of Matsuzaka, at Pawtucket rehabbing a strained muscle in his upper back that sidelined him July 3.