Carl Crawford's Grapefruit League season was wiped out by the left fielder's surgically repaired left wrist, and Valentine was not able to get a first-hand look at Crawford on the field because of the injury.
"Is that the word, disappointment? Whatever it is, [not seeing Crawford is] the only thing that I probably regret," Valentine said. "You know that will complicate matters possibly as we move forward, but it is what it is. I would have loved to have seen him in games, got to work with him, talk with him down here in this practice environment. [The] first time I'm going to see him in uniform with me will be in that real environment."
Crawford is one of several injured Red Sox players who will not travel with the team north for an exhibition game against the Nationals on Tuesday in Washington D.C., and beyond that to Detroit for Opening Day.
"Slowly ahead," Valentine said of Crawford's progress. "He's progressing exactly like we want him to progress and hope he just doesn't get offline. ... This weather has been great. There's no reason for him to try do anything [outside of the team's Spring Training complex] where weather might interrupt his progress."
Crawford likely will go on a rehab assignment.
"I'll bet that he does [go for rehab]," Valentine said. "It's not necessary. I've seen guys go from at-bats down here to the big leagues."
Among the other players recovering from injuries whom the Red Sox are not traveling with are pitchers Chris Carpenter, Bobby Jenks, Rich Hill, Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey and Andrew Miller. Outfielder Ryan Kalish will stay behind as well.