Pedroia completes rehab, returns Tuesday

Pedroia completes rehab, returns Tuesday

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Ready or not, Dustin Pedroia is coming back.

With his Red Sox teammates fighting to keep their playoff fortunes alive, Pedroia is champing at the bit to rejoin them after a seven-week layoff due to a broken left foot.

"I'm fine," Pedroia said after wrapping up his two-day rehab stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox by going 0-for-3 on Sunday. "I'm going to get out there and play every day. I'm excited about it. I haven't been out there every day in a while. I can't wait."

Pedroia said he took significant steps toward his return this weekend.

While he had hoped to see more than the seven total plate appearances he made -- he went 1-for-6 with a walk -- Pedroia said he'll just have to make do.

"I got enough," he said. "We don't have time for [more]. We're in the middle of a pennant race. I've got to try to get back in there. I'll figure it out."

In Saturday's game, Pedroia played second base and legged out an infield single in what played out as a 3-2 PawSox win.

Best of all, he woke up Sunday morning with no ill effects from what was his first stiff test of the injured foot.

"[Pedroia] played hard," said Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo. "He played well. There was nothing wrong with his gait. Nothing bothered him."

Sunday's agenda was less taxing, with Pedroia batting third as the designated hitter. Pedroia grounded into a double play in the bottom of the first inning, then flew out twice.

Perhaps the most challenging part was staying focused between at-bats.

"I hated it," Pedroia said. "It's not fun. You sit around. I've always played defense my whole life. That was a little different.

"I just sat there and got three at-bats. It wasn't anything special. I [wanted] to see pitches and hit the ball on the barrel. I hit two balls on the barrel, and other than my first at-bat, I was pretty happy. I can't wait to get back in there on Tuesday."

Pedroia said he was happy about helping Pawtucket to go 2-0 while he was on hand, but his major concern is about helping keep the big club in the postseason hunt.

"We're four games out of getting into the playoffs," Pedroia said, "and six out of the [American League East] Division [lead]. We've got a lot of games left, and we're going to make our run at it."

Dan Hickling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.