Page last updated on Sat Nov 28 04:28:05 EST 2015
Tue, 01 May 2012 03:35 AM EDT

The Boston Red Sox announced that Carl Crawford has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the injury that frequently leads to Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. Basketball lines

But rather than opt for surgery, the team announced the outfielder will accept a protocol of more conservative therapy.

A big league source expounded that Crawford is expected to miss 3 months.

“I don’t know where they were given 3 months from,” Crawford declared, adding he doesn’t expect to be out that long.

“I’m fine,” he announced. “It’s only one of those things you can not control. I’m still anticipating coming back strong.”

The Red Sox said in their declaration that Dr. James Andrews, who examined Crawford, affirmed the diagnosis made by the team’s medical staff. Basketball spreads

“Carl Crawford was examined by the Red Sox medical staff,” the statement read. “He was diagnosed as having a left elbow ulnar collateral ligament sprain. A conservative treatment protocol was suggested. Carl was also examined by Dr. James Andrews who was in accord with the assessment and plan. Carl received a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection and will most likely be shut down from baseball activity during the primary phase of his treatment.”

In an eerie coincidence, Crawford’s previous teammate with the Tampa Bay Rays, Rocco Baldelli, sprained his UCL under very similar conditions to Crawford. Like Crawford, Baldelli was rehabilitating from another injury — in Baldelli’s case, torn knee ligaments — when he tore his UCL while throwing in the outfield.

Crawford, of course, has been in Florida rehabbing from a left wrist surgery when he hurt his elbow, an injury he claimed he 1st became aware of while the team was still in spring training. Crawford returned to Boston for an MRI on April 10 and after a follow-up exam in Boston, sought out Andrews for a 2nd viewpoint.

Crawford had been restricted to serving as DH in extended spring training games, hitting a home run earlier last week. But the Sox declaration indicated that will stop too.

Crawford, who agreed a 7-year, $142 million deal with the Red Sox after the 2010 season, struggled mightily in his 1st season in Boston, batting a career-low .255, with a .289 on-base percentage that was the lowest of any Red Sox left fielder ever (minimum 300 plate appearances).

He went through surgery on his wrist early in January, then came to camp expressing assurance of being prepared for the season opener, though the Red Sox thought May 1 was more practical. But Crawford suffered a setback after joining in bunting drills, and both the player and team desisted from making any further projections.

Last Thursday, Red Sox 3rd baseman Kevin Youkilis said, “It stinks. We hope he gets healthy as fast as possible because he’s an excellent player. We are hoping he will be here to help us out.”

With Jacoby Ellsbury shouldering a partly dislocated shoulder in the home opener on April 13, the Red Sox had hoped that Crawford’s return would come in the near future.

Now it’s possible that Ellsbury, who is predicted to miss at least 6 weeks, could return before Crawford.

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