Rich Hill could miss a month

Updated: June 11, 2012, 7:42 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

MIAMI -- Left-handed reliever Rich Hill has a strained flexor muscle and could be out for a month, manager Bobby Valentine said Monday.

That actually could be considered good news, as the Red Sox had Hill examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday fearing the injury might be a ligament problem. Hill had Tommy John surgery last year.

In 13 2/3 innings over 17 appearances this season, Hill is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 7 walks.

Left-hander Franklin Morales, who has worn a variety of hats in the bullpen, will be affected in some way by Hill's absence, but Valentine isn't sure how.

"He's very durable and flexible, so I want his mind to remain open," Valentine said.

Also, Cody Ross, who was expected to miss six to eight weeks with a fractured foot, is well ahead of schedule. Ross ran at full-speed Monday for the first time since his May 18 injury. He'll stay with the Red Sox through Wednesday, and is scheduled to begin a three-game rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Friday in Buffalo. Ross said he hopes to rejoin the team June 19 in Boston.

Jacoby Ellsbury took soft-toss pitches in the batting cage, but offered little on his progress. "I'm moving forward, so I'm definitely excited," he said.

Carl Crawford threw from 45 feet and will increase that to 75 on Tuesday. He'll continue his rehab in Fort Myers on Thursday.

Daniel Nava is still out with a problematic hand. "He needs probably another day or so," Valentine said.

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