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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Carl Crawford back in lineup

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- While Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing both games of Monday's doubleheader due to a stiff neck, third baseman Kevin Youkilis remains a major question mark.

Crawford went 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the Red Sox's 7-5 loss.

Crawford first felt the tightness in his neck when working in the batting cage Monday morning and was not available to play. Red Sox manger Terry Francona was able to pencil his name in the lineup Tuesday.

"Good enough to play," Francona said before the game. "Yesterday he couldn't move. I think he's sore but he's able to move. He just couldn't turn his head."

Youkilis has been dealing with bursitis in his hip along with a sports hernia.

"We weren't going to do baseball activities for a while anyway, and we'll continue to try to do some of the core work and things like that," Francona said. "We'll check him later on this week, but he's pretty sore."

When asked if Youkilis was possibly done for the remainder of the regular season, Francona could not indicate either way.

"We don't know," he said. "I guess anything is possible, but we'll just try to let it play out and see how he does in a few days."

Also, Red Sox reliever Dan Wheeler (forearm stiffness) has started to throw and should be able to work in a game again soon, but he's not available Tuesday, Francona said.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for