Notes: Red Sox serenade Stern

Notes: Canada's Stern receives Sox serenade

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Outfielder Adam Stern, whose Team Canada was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, returned to the Red Sox on Saturday. While it may not have been a hero's welcome, it was a surprise to him as several of his teammates stood and serenaded him with "O Canada," the Canadian national anthem.

Part of the surprise for Stern was that they knew the words to the song.

"Most of them probably played Triple-A in either Ottawa or Edmonton or Vancouver, so I'm sure they've had their fair share of Canadian anthems," said Stern, holding several DVDs the Sox compiled for him of his Classic performance, which included an inside-the-park home run in Team Canada's upset of Team USA.

"I'm still gassed from that inside-the-park home run, I think," he said. "It was one of those things. It's rare. ... When I saw it hit, I said, 'OK, a triple.' And [the third-base coach] kept waving me. And I thought, 'Wow, man, I haven't run like that. It's early in Spring Training, I don't know if I'm ready for this.'

"I haven't seen it yet, so it's good to have [the DVD] on hand for the folks, for sure."

In three games, Stern hit .667 (6-for-9) with a double, triple, home run and five RBIs.

"I saw a $100 bill on my desk, that's all I care about," quipped manager Terry Francona, referring to a bet he had with his player on Team Canada's performance in the Classic, before turning serious.

"I think it was probably a very good thing for Stern, no matter [that] they lost. He had that good game. [People] saw him on ESPN. I'm sure it was very good for his confidence."

Stern, who had surgery on his right shoulder in September, reported that his arm feels fine. He entered Sunday's game against the Twins as a defensive replacement for Coco Crisp in center field in the seventh inning and singled in his only at-bat.

Francona said the team will be in contact with the Sox players still in the Classic -- catcher Jason Varitek, pitchers Mike Timlin and Julian Tavares, designated hitter David Ortiz, and infielder Alex Cora -- throughout the tournament to monitor their playing and help determine if they will need rest when they return.

"We'll communicate with all the guys during this," Francona said. "But I think it'll probably end up working out pretty well, because they don't play every day. Either they're playing nine innings, they have a game, a day off, so they'll be OK."

Steroid warning: The team held a closed-door meeting before taking the field for batting practice to watch a video distributed by Major League Baseball addressing steroids, the penalties and education, Francona said.

Puckett memorial: With the Twins holding a public memorial service on Sunday night at the Metrodome to honor late Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, several players were not at Sunday's game. In addition to manager Ron Gardenhire, pitcher Brad Radke, catcher Joe Mauer, and outfielders Rondell White, Torii Hunter, and Shannon Stewart had flown to Minnesota to attend the service.

Pitch counts: After facing batters for the first time Friday, Keith Foulke was expected to throw long toss on Sunday.

David Wells threw to batters for 10 minutes on Saturday. Franconca said Wells will pitch on Thursday in a Minor League game. The team has a split-squad that day. Lefty Jon Lester will travel to St. Petersburg to face the Devil Rays, while right-hander Josh Beckett will face the Twins at City of Palms Park.

Huckaby nearing return: Catcher Ken Huckaby, nursing a tweaked left knee, is about 3-4 days away from playing, Francona said.

"We gave him a couple of options," Francona said. "One, the slower version, have the Synvisc [injection]. I knew he was going to pass on that. He'll spend the next couple of days, hopefully trying to get ready to play in game conditions. And when the medical people say he can play, we'll go ahead and fire him in there. It might be a couple days, maybe more realistic, three or four.

"I'm more concerned about his health right now. You come to camp to make the team, but my goal is for him now to have him healthy."

Coming up: Matt Clement gets the start on Monday as the Red Sox host the Dodgers at City of Palms Park at 1:05 p.m. ET. Former Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra is not expected to make the trip.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.