Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who missed Thursday's series finale against the New York Yankees after getting his knee checked out in Boston, was back in the lineup Friday night in Toronto, batting second.
He was diagnosed with a bruised right kneecap.
"I'm happy, relieved," said Pedroia, who watched Thursday's game at home, then caught a late morning flight to Toronto. "It makes you feel good to know it wasn't something really wrong or if there was something I needed to get done."
"It's sore," he admitted. "I feel it all the time, like when I walk upstairs, things like that. But it's just part of the game, part of being an everyday player. Everybody's banged up from regular wear and tear."
Asked if the situation might dictate future off-days for his hard-to-keep-down second baseman, manager Terry Francona wasn't so sure.
"If there's ever a day that he comes in and needs not to play, he won't," the skipper said. "But, where you think you're doing somebody a favor (with a day off), sometimes you're not. Dustin just plays every day. That's what he does. I wouldn't be looking for him getting too many days off."
"Yesterday, though, (the medical exam) I think was so important," Francona added. "I'm sure he has pain in his knee, but I think he'll be able to relax a little more now, knowing he's not going to hurt himself."
According to a club source, it is safe for Pedroia to resume playing, but it remained under discussion whether Pedroia would benefit from some down time to alleviate some of the pain he is experiencing.
Surgery has not been ruled out, the source said, to address what Francona had referred to before the announcement as "a little bit of a cartilage issue."
Pedroia was examined Thursday afternoon by Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill, using an advanced technology that involved the insertion of a small needle with a miniature camera attached.
Pedroia, who has an aversion to flying, had taken the train back to Boston Thursday along with pitcher Bobby Jenks, who went on the disabled list Thursday with what is described as tightness in the left side of his back.
The Red Sox had an off-day Monday, which would have given Pedroia a chance to be examined and not miss a game. The decision was made to examine him Thursday, Francona said, because Pedroia complained of more discomfort.
"It was still grabbing at him," Francona said.
Pedroia tried to put off the exam, Francona said, but the team insisted.
Marco Scutaro played second in Pedroia's absence Thursday and batted in Pedroia's No. 2 slot. He had a double in five trips.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes and Allan Ryan was used in this report.