NEW YORK -- While Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington denied that a decision has been made that Carl Crawford will have Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, he certainly didn't sound optimistic that such a procedure could be avoided.
“I think we were hopeful and I’ve been hopeful we could avoid it. I think part of the reason to let him play, and he wanted it, he wanted a shot to play just to see," Cherington said Sunday night. "There are times a player can get out there with an injury and for whatever reason it doesn’t affect them and can play out there for a long time.
“We’re always hopeful to avoid surgery. That’s always the first choice, so I think when we talked about it in the past our hope was that we could treat it conservatively. We felt that surgery was a possibility if the symptoms didn’t go away and if he felt like he couldn’t play at a high level for a long period of time.”
Cherington admitted he was more resigned that surgery is necessary now than he was a month ago.
“Yeah, we’re further ahead," he said. "It was not my intention to suggest or portray in any way there was a fundamental divide. There was a decision to treat it conservatively even though the day it was diagnosed that of course eventually there was a possibility there could be surgery.
“We are where we are today. He’s played well. To his credit he’s gutted through this for the team. I think we’ve had enough time now to know, we have enough information to get together with him tomorrow and try to make a decision for the rest of the year.”
Asked whether the situation is weighing on Crawford, Cherington said, “He’s been asked about it a lot. I don’t want to speak for him, but I think most people would say playing with an injury is different mentally than playing completely free of worrying about that sort of thing and of course he’s been asked about it a lot. I don’t know if its distracting for him, but he’s dealing with it.”
Cherington said using Crawford as the DH could hypothetically help in the short term, but hasn’t been seriously considered.
“I think in our situation, what Carl is paid to do, we need to focus on what’s best for Carl, what gives him the best chance to be the player we know he can be for the longest period of time over the length of his contract. I suppose there’s a scenario in a parallel universe where DHing might make sense for some period of time but I’m not sure it’s this one.”