First baseman Sean Casey and utility infielder Alex Cora have begun their Minor League rehabilitation assignments as they return from injury, and the initial reports show no problems and solid production.
"They both look like they're doing real good," manager Terry Francona said before Thursday night's game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
If their rehabs continue to go well, both players could rejoin the Red Sox roster for this weekend's series at Minnesota.
That's assuming the weather holds up for Pawtucket's game against Norwich on Friday night, as the forecast calls for heavy rain throughout the day. A rainout could delay Casey and Cora's return, but only by a day or two.
The team has not decided how it will make room for both players on the roster. It's assumed that infielder Jed Lowrie is one player on the way down to Pawtucket, and the other spot will be decided when the time comes.
Casey, coming back from a right hip strain, made his first rehab appearance in Thursday afternoon's 3-2 win over Durham. He started at designated hitter, in the cleanup spot, and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a run scored. He will play first base in Friday's contest.
Cora, who started his rehab on Wednesday night, is recovering from a sprained right elbow. In his first game with Pawtucket, he went 2-for-4 with a couple of singles to left and scored a run while playing seven innings at second base. Then, in Thursday's game, he went 1-for-4, starting at second again, though he was originally slated to DH.
"We were going to DH him, but he didn't get very many fielding chances [on Wednesday night], so he played second again," Francona said. "He'll play short [on Friday]."
Cora has appeared in three games with Boston this season, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Casey has played in 17 games and owns a .346 average with eight RBIs.
Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.