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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Will Middlebrooks' wrist OK

By Gordon Edes
ESPNBoston.com

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said team hand specialist Dr. Tom Holovacs examined third baseman Will Middlebrooks on Thursday morning and cleared him for all baseball activity.

Middlebrooks, who told Farrell he felt a "zinging sensation" in his wrist on a checked swing in the first inning Wednesday night and came out of the game, took batting practice in Fort Myers on Thursday. Farrell said he could play in Friday night's game against the Pirates in JetBlue Park.

"That's all good news,'' Farrell said Thursday afternoon after the Red Sox beat the Pirates 16-6 in Grapefruit League action. "The fact he was able to swing a bat and test it out is all positive.''

Earlier in the day, Farrell said Middlebrooks' morning exam was "benign."

"Given the way he came out after the swing, it was obviously very good news this morning," Farrell said. "He'll be day to day, until he takes BP, which should be tomorrow. Our plan right now is that he would be able to go tomorrow, but we'll just be sure he comes through BP without any issue."

Middlebrooks told reporters in Fort Myers on Thursday morning that he was feeling better and that his wrist checked out OK.

Farrell said Holovacs decided it was not necessary to administer either X-rays or an MRI on Middlebrooks, who felt pain in the same wrist in which he fractured two bones in August 2012.

"There was nothing structural that was revealed in the physical testing he went through," Farrell said. "Had there been any kind of discomfort, we certainly would have taken him for imaging, but at this point, that wasn't recommended by the doctors."

Farrell addressed Boston's lack of depth at third behind Middlebrooks. Pedro Ciriaco, who has played 35 games at the position, has the most experience at third of any other player in camp.

"How do we feel about it?" Farrell said. "Well, when you get into the depth behind Will, we're looking at more utility-like guys rather than someone who would profile at that position long-term. We're confident with the people in camp. There's no additions in camp that are being contemplated or imminent. That's kind of where we are."

Middlebrooks plans to wear a protective batting glove on his wrist, but Farrell said that was more likely a result of an equipment dealer being in town than Wednesday's issue.

"I do know that he met with them today, but it was more just normal equipment distribution," Farrell said. "He didn't come in specifically for what took place last year and what happened last night."