Lowell to get shot to treat ailing hip

Lowell to get shot to treat ailing hip

ATLANTA -- After a couple of days of deliberation, the Red Sox's medical staff has come up with a plan for Mike Lowell. The third baseman will get an injection of Synvisc in his ailing right hip on Monday morning in Boston.

Lowell will fly home following Sunday's finale against the Braves. The Red Sox open a three-game series in Baltimore on Monday, so Lowell will at least miss that game.

The Synvisc shot will lubricate and coat the joint that has been giving Lowell a lot of tightness in recent days. The recovery from the shot is known to be quick, but Lowell isn't sure when he will return to the lineup.

"I'm hoping to feel a lot better first," said Lowell. "It's not normal to look forward to an injection, but I'm really looking forward to it. I want to feel the relief that hopefully it can provide. I defer to them when they say I can play after that."

Lowell did pinch-hit on Saturday, going 0-for-1 in the Red Sox's 1-0 win over the Braves. He will again be available on Sunday, though it is manager Terry Francona's preference not to use him.

With Lowell out of the mix, Kevin Youkilis has been playing third base and David Ortiz has been starting at first. The Red Sox haven't had the designated hitter for the past five games, and Boston will be without it again on Sunday for the final time in the regular season.

Mark Kotsay will likely play first base on Monday when the Red Sox will again be able to put Ortiz in the DH slot.

At this point, Lowell is hopeful that a stint on the disabled list can be avoided.

Lowell had right hip surgery last October and responded well for the first two months of this season, playing in 58 of the first 60 games.

Saturday marked the fifth time in the past seven games that Lowell didn't start.

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