MINNEAPOLIS -- The Red Sox are scheduling an appointment with Dr. James Andrews for Carl Crawford to have his strained left elbow examined, and the ailment may have bothered the left fielder well before the discomfort became public 12 days ago.
The appointment would be at least Crawford's third exam on the elbow, but manager Bobby Valentine said that surgery was not in the picture.
"I haven't heard any reason that there's surgery, a surgical procedure, being necessary," said Valentine. "I haven't heard that. Hope not."
News of Crawford's elbow injury first surfaced before the Red Sox's home opener. But Valentine said Wednesday in an interview with WEEI that Crawford might have felt discomfort in the elbow in February. Crawford had left wrist surgery in January and then was shut down in Spring Training when he developed inflammation in the wrist. Previous to Wednesday, the elbow was believed to have been a later development.
"Today I heard from the training staff that he said he had a little feeling when he got to Spring Training, I never heard about that," Valentine told WEEI. "I don't know if the staff really did either. I don't know if this is a major situation, but again, I'm not close to the situation."
During his media scrum with reporters, Valentine called the appointment with Andrews as a "fact-finding mission."
At least one standard MRI, without dye, has been conducted, to Valentine's knowledge. Crawford has been serving as the designated hitter in extended spring games and has not played the outfield because of the elbow.
"The only thing I heard is he hadn't been throwing in a couple days, then he was shagging and he picked up a ball and he kind of lobbed it in," Valentine said. "He still felt something. That's what raised concern. ... You haven't thrown in a few days and you didn't warm up and you weren't expecting to throw and you throw.
"It's not like he's gone out and tried to throw and said, 'I can't throw.' And I bet if this was the seventh game of the World Series and he had to advance it in, he could advance it forward. And that's just a bet."
The elbow has made for a busy travel schedule for Crawford. He had his first known exam for it on April 10 in Boston. Crawford remained in Boston through April 15 before heading to Fort Myers, Fla., where he played his first extended spring game on April 17. He returned to Massachusetts for another exam Tuesday and that same night returned to Florida, where he was Wednesday.