Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/15/12

It's no secret that Kevin Youkilis didn't get along well with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, a conflict that contributed to the third baseman being traded last month to the Chicago White Sox.

But it didn't have to be that way, Valentine said Sunday.

"I think the comment I made early, he made a big issue about and I don't think he ever wanted to get over it," Valentine said, one day before Youkilis is scheduled to return to Fenway Park with his new team.

Entering Sunday's game, Youkilis was hitting .315 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 15 games since he was traded to Chicago. Prior to the deal, the nine-year veteran hit .233 with four homers and 14 RBIS in 42 games for the Red Sox.

Asked if his relationship with Youkilis was strained, Valentine said, "No idea. It's whatever he wanted it to be."

Valentine's rift with Youkilis became irreparable in April when he questioned the veteran's emotional commitment to the team during a television interview. Valentine later apologized to Youkilis for the comment.

Youkilis was a fan favorite in Boston prior to the trade. He was a member of the Red Sox's two recent World Series title teams in 2004 and 2007.

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