Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s unpleasant to read about even if it isn’t entirely surprising: veteran Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered a “significant setback” in his efforts to return to the field of play, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). Details are scarce as yet, but it seems that Pedroia’s oft-repaired left knee is again to blame.

According to Abraham, Pedroia is now considered “questionable” at best to participate in Spring Training. That seems like a mild summation if indeed there’s a truly significant new problem with Pedroia’s long-problematic joint. He’s said to be weighing his future at the moment.

It’s not as if the Red Sox were relying heavily upon Pedroia in 2020. He was never expected to be ready until the middle of the season, if at all, in his latest attempt at a comeback after two lost seasons and multiple surgeries.

But it wasn’t hard to root for the gritty 36-year-old, a hard-nosed player beloved by Boston fans. And the team surely would’ve welcomed a contribution, given that it still owes Pedroia $25M over the next two campaigns.

It seems the door is still cracked for a return. But even if this latest setback doesn’t completely sideline Pedroia on its own, it adds to the already heavy cumulative effect — both physically and psychologically — and raises the bar yet again for him to return to anything approaching his former glory on the ball field.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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Can you name the MLB leaders in hits since 1988?
2019 / KC / 2B
Whit Merrifield
2018 / KC / 2B
Whit Merrifield
2017 / COL / OF
Charlie Blackmon
2016 / HOU / 2B
Jose Altuve
2015 / MIA / 2B
Dee Gordon
2014 / HOU / 2B
Jose Altuve
2013 / STL / 2B
Matt Carpenter
2013 / TEX / 3B
Adrian Beltre
2012 / NYY / SS
Derek Jeter
2011 / BOS / 1B
Adrian Gonzalez
2011 / TEX / DH
Michael Young
2010 / SEA / OF
2009 / SEA / OF
2008 / SEA / OF
2008 / BOS / 2B
Dustin Pedroia
2007 / SEA / OF
2006 / SEA / OF
2005 / TEX / SS
Michael Young
2004 / SEA / OF
2003 / TOR / OF
Vernon Wells
2002 / NYY / 2B
Alfonso Soriano
2001 / SEA / OF
2000 / ANA / OF
Darin Erstad
1999 / NYY / SS
Derek Jeter
1998 / COL / OF
Dante Bichette
1997 / SD / OF
Tony Gwynn
1996 / NYM / OF
Lance Johnson
1995 / COL / OF
Dante Bichette
1995 / SD / OF
Tony Gwynn
1994 / SD / OF
Tony Gwynn
1993 / TOR / DH
Paul Molitor
1992 / MIN / OF
Kirby Puckett
1991 / MIL / DH
Paul Molitor
1990 / SF / OF
Brett Butler
1990 / PHI / OF
Lenny Dykstra
1989 / MIN / OF
Kirby Puckett
1988 / MIN / OF
Kirby Puckett

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