NEW YORK -- With Mike Lowell already on the disabled list, the Red Sox can ill-afford to lose another starting corner infielder for an extended period of time. Therefore, there was some collective relief when the X-ray on the left big toe of Kevin Youkilis came back negative during Wednesday's 15-9 loss to the Yankees.
It was a painful scene to watch in the top of the sixth inning, when Youkilis bashed a foul ball off his left foot. He was able to stay in the game for a couple of more innings before the pain became too much to bear.
Though playing on Thursday would seem to be a long shot, Youkilis is holding out some hope.
"I hope I can play tomorrow," said Youkilis. "If I'm not moving around too well, I can't help this team win. For me, it's just trying to get healthy and do what's best with this team. It's nothing long term, so that's a good thing. Hopefully I'll be out there."
Youkilis has been playing third base in place of Lowell, with Sean Casey taking over at first. If Youkilis can't go on Thursday, the Red Sox will likely start Jed Lowrie at third base. Lowrie is coming off a solid Major League debut in Cleveland on Tuesday, when he drove in three runs.
"He's sore," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Youkilis. "He hit that ball hard. He's hurting a little bit. We'll check with him in the morning. He's going to be sore. The good news is, there isn't a break. But he's going to be sore."
Youkilis has had similar injuries in the past and made swift recoveries.
"It started throbbing the last inning I was out there," said Youkilis. "It kind of went away and kind of came back. I've done this before. I've broken my toe there and that was when it showed up on an X-ray, and I played like two days later in Spring Training. I'll be all right."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.