BOSTON -- Left fielder Carl Crawford returned to Florida on Friday in preparation for his Minor League rehab assignment, which starts Saturday with a Gulf Coast League game.
Crawford will serve as the designated hitter on Saturday and progress to some outfield action shortly thereafter.
Essentially, Crawford is starting Spring Training.
"His health will determine a lot of his progress," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Then it's also baseball. He has to feel good about playing baseball. That's what Spring Training is usually for."
Crawford had left wrist surgery in the offseason and was diagnosed with a sprained UCL in his left elbow in April. Valentine has yet to manage him, but he is looking forward to doing so.
"I want him to be healthy," Valentine said. "If he's healthy, I'll be happy. Then I'll start getting excited after he's healthy and playing the game of baseball."