Youk few games from return, says Valentine

Youk few games from return, says Valentine

PHILADELPHIA -- Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis went 1-for-3 with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, making him 2-for-5 in his two rehab starts. He was scheduled to play seven innings on Saturday, and manager Bobby Valentine said Youkilis is likely still a couple of games away.

To Valentine, Youkilis' comfort at the plate is the central issue now, as opposed to health.

"When he feels that he's been put through the test, maybe seen a lefty, a righty, whatever he as an experienced hitter feels he needs," Valentine said. "And then, of course, the medical people giving them the green light. But it seems like the green light's on."

Youkilis told the Providence Journal after Friday's rehab game that the ball is in the Sox's court for the timing of his return.

"I feel good. That's the decision for the Red Sox to make [to call me up]," Youkilis said. "I'm just following their orders. When they tell me to come up, I'll come up."

Valentine said Saturday he had told Youkilis to pass on to the team when he feels he's ready, while acknowledging there is rehab schedule in place.

"I told Kevin when he left, when he feels like he's seen the ball enough and he feels good, to let us know," Valentine said. "There's a schedule that's been put out there by the training staff, too. So it's either going to be a little before that schedule or that schedule, I'm not sure."