DETROIT -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that outfielder Carl Crawford's participation in games for the first time since his January wrist surgery is "imminent. It's coming very soon."
The left fielder, who is on the disabled list, remains in Fort Myers, where he will take part in extended spring training games. He will remain there at least through Friday, as the decision was made that Crawford will not return to Fenway Park for the home opener on April 13.
Crawford -- whose recovery was delayed by a setback early into his swinging program in spring training -- is slated to serve as a designated hitter as he returns to game activity. He will then start integrating some innings in the outfield and then get work on the bases.
“We’re trying to get a very comprehensive, yet not rushed program for him,” said Valentine. “I heard he’s progressing really nicely. ... The way it seems right now, he’s feeling very good.”
Valentine had said during spring training that he imagined Crawford would require around 50 plate appearances (a combined number in both extended spring training and on a rehab assignment) before he is activated. The Sox manager clarified on Saturday that there's no hard number of at-bats that Crawford requires.
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