Lowrie leaning toward surgery for wrist

Lowrie leaning toward surgery for wrist

BOSTON -- Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie appeared to get both some good news and some bad news during his visit with Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona on Monday morning.

While it is now highly probable that Lowrie will have surgery on his ailing left wrist, it doesn't appear to be a season-ender, which is what was originally feared.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that there's a chance Lowrie could return by the All-Star break.

"I think there's a pretty good chance that he's going to have a surgery in the next day or so, but we're still having some internal discussions," Francona said. "I wasn't available most of the day but [general manager] Theo [Epstein] has been. In saying that, I think it's generally pretty good news. I think the medical people think that even with the surgery that he would be having, he could be playing by the All-Star break. That's where we're at today. We'll obviously know more [later] or tomorrow."

The wrist has been problematic to Lowrie since May of last season. Though rest and rehab seemed to do the trick over the winter, Lowrie started experiencing discomfort in the wrist again during the latter stages of Spring Training and through the first few regular-season games.

At the time the Red Sox shut Lowrie down, he had just one hit in 18 at-bats.

After Lowrie saw a hand specialist in Baltimore last week, the Red Sox and the switch-hitter expressed some hope that surgery could be avoided. But that optimism started to diminish a couple of days later and was all but gone by the time Lowrie's appointment with Sheridan was over.

While Lowrie is likely to be months away from returning, the Red Sox could get shortstop Julio Lugo back in a week or so. The veteran, who is recovering from right knee surgery, will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday.

In the interim, Nick Green has been starting at shortstop for the Red Sox with Gil Velazquez serving as the backup.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.