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Crawford still hurting, hopes to return Friday at the earliest



UPDATE, 5:50: Manager Joe Maddon was a bit more optimistic, saying there was a 50-50 chance Crawford could be available Wednesday and that the Rays are still confident it's not a serious injury.

He also said they are going to ride out being shorthanded tonight and Wednesday with just the backup catcher and one other position player on the bench, and if necessary will make a roster move Friday to get an extra body. Carrying eight relievers puts a severe limit on what they can do.

DEVELOPING: LF Carl Crawford said his sore back is still a problem and his best-case scenario is to return Friday in Detroit.
Crawford is undergoing treatment and taking "all kinds of medication," but is still stiff and sore and said he may have bruised or jammed his back.
"It still feels sore like it did yesterday,'' Crawford said. "I hope I'm playing by Detroit. .... I don't know how it's going to be feeling by then."

Crawford said he is in so much discomfort he doubts he would be able to contribute at all tonight or Wednesday, leaving the Rays with just a two-man bench - INF Willy Aybar and C Gregg Zaun tonight. The Rays are off Thursday.

"Right now I don't think I'll be doing anything, to be honest with you,'' he said. "The way my back feels I can't see myself running or catching. I can't even bend down and bend straight up without having some kind of problem.'' 

The discomfort was obvious as he tried to get dressed after Monday's game, and apparently didn't subside during the night. "I was just happy when I did go to sleep, last night was tough,'' he said. "So I really don't know what's going to happen.'' 

He also said he is not going to rush back and risk further injury: "I want to make sure I have no pain in my back when I start back playing again, because if I try to play while it's still there I don't think it will go away. So I just want it to go away and I'll go from there. ... I don't think it should be a big deal but I'm going to take every cautionary measure.'''

He said he isn't going to try to return on a limited basis: "I'm hoping I'll be able to do what I do. If I can't play the way I want to play then obviously I'm not going to play.''

He said he probably won't undergo testing or an MRI until Friday. "It's still tough to say right now what's going to happen,'' he said.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:50am]


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