They dodged that reality, thanks to the highly encouraging results of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's MRI exam on Friday.
Ellsbury exited Thursday's game with a strained right wrist after rolling over on his glove hand while making a diving catch.
But medical tests revealed no significant damage, and the speedy leadoff man could return to the lineup as early as this weekend against the Mariners.
"Everything has come back really clean, that's good," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I think he's excited, relieved [and] so are we."
Even though Ellsbury bent his wrist backward on the catch, no significant damage occurred.
"It's just a strain," Francona said. "There were no breaks, no ligament damage -- nothing."
There was also good news regarding another injured outfielder. Cleanup man Manny Ramirez, who left Thursday's game with recurring pain in his right hamstring, is optimistic he will be back in the lineup in short order.
"Everything is good," Ramirez said. "It's kind of sore. I'm just going to give it one day. I'm going to go to [batting practice] and see how it feels."
Ramirez hopes to play on Saturday.
"I hope [to miss] just one day," Ramirez said. "Last night, when I took that pitch and I tried to swing, I pulled it a little bit. It scared me because it's been sore for two weeks. We'll see tonight how it feels."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.