ATLANTA -- Four days after getting hit in the left knee by a pitch, Boston shortstop Jed Lowrie was poised to resume his Minor League rehab assignment and play in his fourth game for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night.
Coming off left wrist surgery, Lowrie might squeeze in a couple of games for the Red Sox before the All-Star break. But manager Terry Francona said there was a chance Lowrie wouldn't be activated until the start of the second half.
"That might be realistic, I don't know," Francona said. "We've kind of told him all along. 'Let us know how you feel, when you think you're ready. We don't want to rush you,' and that was even when things weren't going real well here. We said, 'Just kind of stay on the schedule and we'll try not to make decisions based on how we're playing.' That's not a good way to do it. I think it's easy to [rush him], but it doesn't help anybody."
If anything, there is less urgency for Lowrie to rush back now. Nick Green, who came to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, has been a key contributor on both sides of the ball the past few weeks.
"He's playing great. He's doing a good job," Francona said. "There's no getting around it. We don't even want to get around it."
As much as the Red Sox are looking forward to the return of Lowrie, they want to make sure not to push him through what is really a Spring Training type of progression at this point.
"He needs to play a little bit," Francona said. "He lost a couple of days with his knee, that doesn't change a whole lot. He needs to get some at-bats under his belt."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.