Source: Dustin Pedroia to hit DL

Updated: July 6, 2012, 3:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's series opener against the New York Yankees, a major league source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com.

Tests on Pedroia's jammed right thumb on Thursday in Boston revealed a new injury, the Boston Herald reported, not an aggravation of the partially torn adductor muscle he suffered earlier this season.

The Red Sox will likely back-date Pedroia's trip to the DL to Wednesday, which means he'd be eligible to return on July 19. It's unclear whether Pedroia will need more time than that, but a major league source told WEEI.com he expects the second baseman will be ready to return once the required 15 days are up.

In his place, Nick Punto is likely to play second base for the Red Sox against the Yankees this weekend at Fenway Park. The situation is complicated by a hamstring injury to Will Middlebrooks, who has missed the past three games. Punto had filled in at the hot corner for Middlebrooks.

The first injury to the thumb caused Pedroia to miss six games before returning June 5. He reinjured the thumb after popping up an inside pitch June 19 against the Miami Marlins but only missed one game.

The 28-year-old has struggled since the injury, hitting .210 with a .282 on-base percentage and just seven extra-base hits in 26 games. He is hitting .266 with six home runs and 33 RBIs on the season.

The latest injury to the thumb appeared to come Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics after he dived for a ball in shallow right field.

Pedroia sat out Thursday's series finale against the A's, saying the soreness was "not in the area where I first got hurt."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes was used in this report.

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