BOSTON -- Red Sox center fielder Mike Cameron got some good news on Wednesday, when he learned that he hasn't suffered any significant setbacks to his lower abdomen, which kept him off the active roster from April 19-May 24.
Cameron returned last week and played in five games before having some soreness that has kept him out of the lineup the past two days.
Cameron had an MRI at Fenway Park on Tuesday, but he went to see a specialist on Wednesday morning, which was when he got the encouraging prognosis. Cameron could return to the lineup as early as this weekend, when the Red Sox play a three-game series at Baltimore.
The pain Cameron has experienced this week has been on a different side of the abdomen than the area that caused his DL stint.
What Cameron is experiencing on the right side is tendinitis.
"There's no tear on the right side, so that was good to know. My next question to the doctor was to see if I could do any more damage playing, or trying to play through certain things," said Cameron. "He told me probably not. I wouldn't probably do any more damage unless I went out and tried to play hurt, which we all know that hasn't been the case."
Just by getting some reassurance, Cameron will be more confident when he returns to the lineup.
"Already, you see a little different look in his eyes," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "That was really good news. He's not going to play tonight. I don't know if he's going to play tomorrow. And when he does play, like we talked about before, we'll keep an eye on him. But that was really encouraging news."
It is particularly good news when you consider how short-handed the Red Sox have been in the outfield this season. Jacoby Ellsbury, the team's other established center fielder, has played in just nine games this season because of a hairline fracture in his left ribs. Ellsbury went back on the disabled list last week and there's still no word on when he will return.
Jeremy Hermida started in left field for the Sox on Wednesday, while Darnell McDonald got the nod in center.
"As long as my range of motion comes back, and the inflammation goes out, everything should go as planned," Cameron said. "I don't plan on being out that long. I guess that's one reason we held off on the DL, because the last time it took about four days to get back going again. That's what we're hoping this time, [and what] we're looking for. That's how my body should progress the next couple of days."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.