Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 7/7/12

Stop me when you've heard this before: The Red Sox will have to wait just a bit longer before Carl Crawford returns to their lineup.

Thought to be coming back the first series after the All-Star Break, Carl suffered a setback in the form of a groin strain when he tripled in a rehab appearance for the AA Portland Sea Dogs. 

Via ESPN:

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine explained that Crawford felt "a little twinge" when he hit a triple during Thursday's rehab game with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. He was set to come off the disabled list in time for the first series after the All-Star break on Friday against his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays.

"He's taking a couple of days off from hitting and playing, but he's going to go right back in and start hitting again soon in a game," Valentine said.

Now that he's being shut down for a few days, it will likely delay his return to the Red Sox lineup until the start of a homestand on July 16. Playing his first game at Fenway would be better for him than playing his first games of the season on the artificial surface at Tropicana Field.

On the plus side, it reinforces why the Red Sox don't give us any kind of firm return date, because Carl keeps having delays anyway.

Also on the plus side: Ryan Sweeney is returning to the lineup in tonight's game, with Ryan Kalish -- who's been a bit overmatched at the big-league level -- being optioned down. Jacoby Ellsbury plays in Pawtucket as well, so his return shouldn't be far off. And of course, Daniel Nava is holding down the fort in left and Cody Ross in right, so the outfield isn't a complete travesty. But it would be better when (or should we say if, at this point) Crawford returns.

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