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Pedroia playing through thumb ligament tear

Red Sox star not worried about worsening injury sustained on Opening Day

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PHILADELPHIA -- Heading into Wednesday's contest against the Phillies, Dustin Pedroia had a .332 batting average and a 1.000 fielding percentage while starting every game. Not bad for a guy who has been playing with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb -- an injury that was sustained on Opening Day.

First reported by the Boston Herald, Pedroia continued to downplay the ailment when approached by reporters before Wednesday's game.

"I didn't expect this to come out," Pedroia said. "As players here, we all want our medical stuff to stay private and all that stuff. I kind of feel uncomfortable talking about it. When players are playing, we don't want to talk about injuries and stuff like that."

The injury happened when Pedroia dove head first into first base on April 1 at Yankee Stadium. That injury normally takes about two months to heal.

Pedroia decided to keep playing while the healing process took place.

Considering his numbers on both sides of the ball, it seems fairly obvious that the injury hasn't impacted his play. But it was only natural he would be asked anyway.

"Not really," Pedroia said. "I'm fine. I've told you that from the beginning. Everything's fine. I appreciate your guys' concern."

This is far from the first time Pedroia has played through an injury while keeping it quiet. In 2007, Pedroia was a central figure in leading the Red Sox to a World Series championship. This, despite the fact he spent the final two months of the regular season and the postseason with a cracked hamate bone in his left wrist.

Pedroia earned universal respect from his teammates while playing the final two games of a lost 2012 with an avulsion fracture in his left index finger.

"He's got a high pain threshold," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "There's no doubt about it. And I'm not saying that because he's dealing with something. I think his career has shown that he's not going to be taken out of the lineup easily. He'll fight you tooth and nail to stay in the lineup, even if there are things he's dealing with. He sets a tone, not only of performance, but of grit and determination. Other guys feed off of that."

When Pedroia plays through injuries, he never feels the need to let anyone know what is bothering him.

"If you miss time, yeah, you should be able to reveal it to everybody, but guys who are playing, there's no point in talking about anything," Pedroia said.

The decision to keep playing was a fairly easy one for him.

"I just talked about some things with our training staff and team doctor, things like that, but it wasn't a very long discussion," Pedroia said. "Got checked out, made sure everything's fine, and just went and played. I feel fine. I feel normal."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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