NEW YORK -- Speaking before the Red Sox game with the Yankees Saturday afternoon, Carl Crawford disclosed that Dr. James Andrews had told him he needed Tommy John surgery during an April examination, and that the operation was just a matter of time.
Crawford said when he got the news from Andrews in late April, the assumption was surgery would be the preferred immediate path. But he was told a PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injection would suffice to perform in the 2012 season.
"I try not to even think about it, to be honest with you," Crawford said of his injured left elbow. "Like I said, I'll go out there and play and try not to think about it. I figure one day it will blow out and when that happens, time to go, You know?"
Crawford said the medical staff informed him the recovery time for such a surgery wouldn't be as long as the approximate 11-month timetable pitchers usually deal with, identifying five or six months as the usual timetable for position players.
When asked if he would prioritize getting the surgery performed if the Red Sox fell out of playoff contention, Crawford said, "Yeah, that would be the smart thing to do, if we're out of it. You definitely want to try to take care of it as soon as possible. Like I say, we just have to wait and see. Right now, that's why I tried to get back so quick and help the team. If I'm still in it, I want to do that. If not, we probably have to look into it."
Crawford was realistic about the importance losing time next season in order to try and siphon production from the final months of this year.
The later I wait to get it done, the more time I'm going to miss so, I guess, you guys can do the calculations on that and see how that works," he said. "Definitely know at some point in my career I can't keep playing with this ligament in my elbow like that."
The other news regarding Crawford's elbow situation Saturday was that manager Bobby Valentine informed Crawford earlier in the day that the team's plan was to play him four days in a row and then give the outfielder a day off. (He was not in the lineup against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia Saturday.) It is a plan that Crawford is clearly reluctantly entering into.
"Yeah, it's frustrating because you just want to be in the lineup, period," he said. "But, like I said, I understand. He explained it to me today like he told you guys. Like I said, you just have to go with it. You don't always agree but you just have to go with the way things are sometimes.
"I don't want to run from guys. It feels more like I'm hiding from somebody. Not playing against someone is more embarrassing than anything. My body is fine right now. If I play five, six games, or four games, and need a day off, that's the system. We'll see how long that system holds up, you know?"
Crawford is coming off a performance Friday night in which he hit his first home run of this season. The left hitter is hitting .222 with a .569 OPS over his first 10 games since returning from the disabled list.
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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