The Red Sox received some good news regarding shortstop Stephen Drew on Thursday.
Drew has been cleared to resume baseball activities after visiting concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins at the University of Pittsburgh.
Despite the good news, it’s likely the Red Sox will continue to take it slow as Drew continues to work his way back from a concussion he suffered after getting hit in the head by a pitch on March 7. That means Drew might still be sidelined when the Sox open up against the Yankees on April 1.
“We’ll probably have a better sense of that by the end of the weekend,” general manager Ben Cherington told reporters. “But we’re certainly fighting the calendar a little bit. We don’t want him to be in a position where he’s having to rush at-bats just to make it for a certain date. But [it's] generally good news and he seems to be heading in the right direction.”
Drew won’t play in any Grapefruit League games going forward. Given the circumstances, the Red Sox could backdate his disabled list stint by keeping him out of Grapefruit League games, and thus have him as early as the second game of the season. It remains to be seen when exactly Drew will be ready for big league game action, though.
“We’re just going to progress as he feels able to do,” Cherington said. “He feels better every day. There’s certainly an element of the unknown on this sort of thing. On the day it happened, we felt like it was something he was going to get past. But there’s less of a blueprint on this kind of thing, so we have to take it a day at a time. As long as he’s still feeling anything, we’re going to be cautious and we’ll continue to be cautious.”
Manager John Farrell said that while Drew has been cleared to resume baseball activities, not all of the shortstop’s concussion symptoms are completely gone.
“He’s improved. I will say it’s not completely cleared, but better than it was three days ago before he left,” Farrell told reporters. “Dr. Collins gave him some assurances that it’s not going to be on the long end of the spectrum with recovery.”
Jose Iglesias could become Boston’s starting shortstop in Drew’s absence.
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