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Bradford: Dustin Pedroia To Return To Lineup Tuesday

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BOSTON, MA:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox heads out to the field before a game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox heads out to the field before a game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox had an off-day on Monday, and while much of it was spent with the first day and round of the 2012 draft, there were also questions about the present-day Sox. One of the most pressing issues was whether or not Dustin Pedroia would be able to play after missing the last six games with a torn abductor muscle in his thumb. According to Rob Bradford, Boston has deemed Pedroia healthy enough to play once more, starting tonight.

Boston's lineup performed admirably without Pedroia around (either 4-2 or 5-2, depending on how much you want to count the May 28 game he exited in the sixth as a result of injury). Given he's easily one of the team's top players -- if not the best of them -- it goes without saying that they're better with him than without, though. There are plenty of other injuries elsewhere, especially in the outfield, and when days like this past Sunday come up -- ones where Will Middlebrooks doesn't play -- Boston's lineup is (relatively) short on talented right-handed hitters. Having Pedroia back helps to erase some of that, assuming, of course, his thumb is healthy enough for him to hit well.

He'll get his first chance to show it is so against Jason Hammel and the Orioles tonight.