Sox hoping Lowell responds well to shot

Sox hoping Lowell responds to shot

ATLANTA -- The earliest that Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell will be back in the starting lineup would probably be Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards against the Orioles.

However, both Lowell and the club know that the Synvisc shot Lowell will receive Monday in Boston for his troublesome right hip isn't guaranteed to be an instant cure.

"It's kind of like a gel-type thing," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "For some people, it's like a miracle. For other people, it's not. I've had it done, it didn't do a thing for me. [Bench coach Brad Mills] had the same shot, and two hours later, he felt like he was brand new.

"The good news is if it doesn't work, [it won't be a setback]. It's just a gel that can really coat that joint. We'll get that done tomorrow and see how he responds to that. He'll probably need a day after that before we can evaluate, but then we'll see. If he's good, that's good. If not, then we have to talk about the next step."

Would the next step be the disabled list?

"I guess it could happen," Francona said. "I don't think we want to, and I don't think he wants to. But if he didn't respond to this, it's probably something we'd have to think about it. But I don't think that's our goal, for sure."

If Lowell doesn't respond to the shot and needs a DL stint, the 15 days would be up as soon as the All-Star break ends. The Red Sox begin the second half in Toronto on July 17.

At this point, however, the Red Sox hope to have Lowell back at some point this week.

"He's just hurting," Francona said. "The medical people have all assured Mikey that even if he played today, he wouldn't hurt himself. It just hurts. Because there's a lot of season left to go, we'd rather try to let him take a deep breath or regroup. We just want him to be able to go out and play rather than drag it, or when he makes a move, feel it so much."

The Red Sox and Lowell still view the surgery he had to repair the torn labrum in his hip last October as a success.

"Nothing happened, it's not like there was a play [that triggered it]," Francona said. "He's just sore. When you think back, it's probably not that unrealistic. He came out of Spring Training, he played almost every day. To me, that's amazing."

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