Drew sits after fouling ball off knee

Drew sits after fouling ball off knee

BOSTON -- J.D. Drew was out of the Red Sox starting lineup on Wednesday, one night after he fouled a ball off his right knee in the second inning of the win over Kansas City.

Drew finished Tuesday's game and was available for manager Terry Francona, who used the minor injury as a means of continuing his four-man outfield rotation.

"They told me last night I was going to get the day [off] so I'd be ready for the afternoon game [on Thursday]," Drew said. "I'm a little sore and stiff, but nothing that's holding me back by any means."

"I hit that pretty good off my leg, but everything is fine.

"When I hit it, I knew I hit it pretty well," he added. "I didn't think it was anything major. I knew it was going to take me a couple of minutes to get my feet back under me, because of where I hit it. I hit it right off of that bone, so I didn't know if it was an issue. I was able to get the hit up the middle and get [Kevin Youkilis] to third, and I was on first [base] thinking, 'Man, this thing doesn't feel too good.

"I ended up rounding the bases, and it loosened up a little. Right when it happened, that kind of trauma knocks you right to the ground. That's pretty instantaneous pain. It all worked out. I didn't realize the ball rolled all the way to third. When I got to third, [Alex] Gordon said, 'That ball hit you in the foot?' I said, 'It hit me on the knee.' He said, 'I fielded it.' I said, 'Are you kidding me?' "

"He smoked that ball off his knee last night," Francona said. "He could have played. I just want to try to find ways to keep guys productive in there, and this seems like ... With the four guys we have, it's been working pretty well just keeping everybody fresh and keeping guys in there."

If this is, in fact, to be counted as a game missed from injury, it is the eighth of the season for Drew.

Drew missed the first three games of the season -- two in Japan and one in Oakland -- with back tightness. He left the April 29 contest with a left quad injury and missed the next three games. On the last road trip, he injured his left wrist attempting to make a catch in right field and exited, but he missed only one game.

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