Josh Reddick and Darnell McDonald have been holding down the bulk of the playing time in right during Drew's absence, which stretches back to July 20, when he was shut down with an impingement in his right shoulder.
Is there still time for Drew to come back?
"Well, we have three weeks, but you'd rather [hear] good news than not good news. We'll just deal with it," said Francona.
A more positive development is that Clay Buchholz continues to feel no pain in his back. The righty played catch for the second straight day.
"Good," Francona said. "Sixty throws. Out to over 100 feet. It was a good day. Again, picking up the intensity, picking up the distance. He'll take tomorrow off and then move out to 120. But he's tolerating everything."
While the true test won't come until some time next week, when Buchholz is cleared to throw off a mound, it is a good sign that he's handled everything thrown at him so far.
"I think there were a lot of things that were bothering him, but he'd get to a certain point in his delivery and he was feeling it," Francona said. "But yeah, the good news is he's been tolerating what's been thrown at him so far. I'd rather that than it be the other way around."