Left fielder Carl Crawford, who has not appeared in for the Red Sox this season after off-season wrist surgery and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow, is scheduled to work out in Florida starting Thursday. There's no word on when he will appear in a game in an official rehab assignment at this point, but the Red Sox have a date in mind that they aren't announcing to the public.
Boston is remaining coy intentionally, in case workouts for Crawford don't go as well as expected -- avoiding the creation of expectations and a timetable has been their plan from the start, and this is simply keeping in line with letting Crawford work back when he's ready, rather than for a specific date.
His wrist has not been a problem for some time now, as, when that was the lone issue, he was expected back as early as late-April. Once his elbow began to act up, though, the timetable was thrown, but it did give his wrist more time to return to its full strength. Now, the question is whether there will be a problem with throwing going forward, and that's just what Crawford is set to test out in Florida. There haven't been any major setbacks in the throwing program he started earlier in June, but until he ramps things up fully, that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
Crawford's 2011 season was a disappointment, thanks to a start that could charitably be described as slow -- Pujolsian, but not in the way we thought of prior to 2012 -- and an injury-riddled middle. He was essentially a replacement-level player, but should he return healthy, there's a good chance the player who averaged nearly four-and-a-half wins per 162 games from 2008 through 2010 will be the one on the field. There are no guarantees, but the belief that that version of Crawford exists is why the Sox paid him in the first place, and why they are so intent on giving him the time he needs to come back right here in 2012.