Crawford says he'll eventually need surgery

Crawford says he'll eventually need surgery

Crawford says he'll eventually need surgery
BOSTON -- Maybe if the Red Sox didn't enter their last game before the All-Star break sitting 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees and just one game above .500, Carl Crawford would've already had surgery on his cranky left elbow with a full recovery due before the 2013 season.

Prior to Sunday night's series finale against the Yankees, the Red Sox left fielder admitted he'll inevitably need Tommy John surgery and that at some point his elbow is "going to go out on me."

So Crawford will play through the discomfort, which he says only occurs when he's warming up. He's in line to play again for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday with a return to the big league club coming soon.

"I thought about [having elbow surgery], but at this point, if I can play, I think they want me out on the field," said Crawford, who has yet to appear in a game this season. "I'm just trying to do everything I can to get back on the field.

"Right now, I feel like if I couldn't help the team, I wouldn't get out there. I think helping the team right now is probably best for me."

Meanwhile, the mild left groin strain Crawford experienced Thursday night during a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland shouldn't be a concern. He said his groin tightens up every year when he starts running again.

"It's just one of those things that it always happens to me," he said. "We're just taking care of it. I know how things are around here: Once you say one little thing, it goes way bigger than what it really is. That's it pretty much.

"I actually feel good, man. That's the thing. I'm ready to get back on the field. I was making progress in the games I was playing and feeling really good about that."

Since the Red Sox stopped his 20-day Minor League rehab stint, Crawford had to sit out five days before he can begin a new rehab assignment.

When Crawford does return, he said it's probably best if he hits the cut-off man every time he makes a throw from left field, rather than stretching his arm out and trying to gun down a runner at home.

At this point, the Red Sox appear ready to take whatever they can get from their $20 million outfielder.

"We've got some guys coming back; me and Jacoby [Ellsbury], [Andrew] Bailey. Hopefully [Daniel] Bard will be back up here at some point," said Crawford. "We feel like we can still make a run at it. That new Wild Card has made it possible for teams to make it late in the season. Hopefully that's the case for us."