FORT MYERS, Fla. — How long will Will Middlebrooks be out due to the right wrist injury he suffered on Wednesday night when checking his swing awkwardly against Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman?
“A year or two?” he mused on Thursday morning, before cracking a grin.
He could afford to joke. After an examination by both Red Sox team trainers and a hand specialist, the third baseman was cleared to resume full baseball activity. Indeed, the key indicators of his health were so positive — Middlebrooks reported that he felt no pain, all strength tests indicated that there was no evidence of weakness and he showed no discomfort when the training staff manipulated his wrist — that the team did not feel it was necessary for him to be sent for either an X-ray or an MRI. Middlebrooks was even able to take batting practice on Thursday, less than 24 hours after being removed from Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles due to pain created by an awkward check swing against on an up-and-in fastball from right-hander Chris Tillman.
“His exam this morning was benign. He didn’t feel any discomfort when he was put through a battery of tests and he’s actually been cleared for all baseball activities, but I’m sure he’s going to take the day to just let it rest,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “But given the way he came out after the swing, it was obviously very good news this morning.”
The Sox expect that Middlebrooks will be able to play in Friday night’s game, so long as there are no issues that emerge in batting practice. For his part, the third baseman exuded confidence when he arrived at JetBlue Park for an exam on Thursday morning.
“I’m fine, man. Same as last night. Just scared. It scared me. I felt just an awkward feeling, awkward movement of the wrist. It was the initial zing of pain and that was it. I expect to be fine. I’m fine right now. I could have swung a bat last night,” said Middlebrooks.
Asked if there was concern about the possibility of recurrence of injury in the region, Middlebrooks said, “We hope [there] isn’t. It’s hard to tell right now. There’s no pain. There’s no structural damage. So initially, you’d say no. Hopefully it’s just scar tissue moving around and just broke it up a bit and that’s what I felt.”
Indeed, given that Wednesday represented Middlebrooks’ first hard (and, for that matter, awkward) check swing since a broken wrist wiped out the final two months of his 2012 season, that could contribute to the idea of the unusual feeling created by the swing.
“That was my third game [of the swing], and I hadn’t check-swung. Normal swings felt fine. Normal check swings will probably be fine, too. I just got caught in between and it was just awkward all around,” he said. “I saw [video of the swing] this morning. It didn’t look good. It didn’t look good. It just freaked me out. It was just a weird feeling. I didn’t want to take a chance with it because of the history of that wrist.”
Coincidentally, Middlebrooks was meeting with a representative about getting a padded batting glove on Thursday morning. However, that meeting had already been scheduled in order to discuss more protective options for the area that region of the wrist that Middlebrooks broke last year.
“I saw [the batting glove rep] this morning, and I was like, ‘God, they’re going to get a kick out of this,’ ” said Middlebrooks. “Today just happened to be the day that he came down here. He didn’t even know it happened. We tried some things with a shell, but everything was hard, and it was by that joint so I couldn’t move. They’re going to do some stuff similar to what they did with [padding for Dustin Pedroia's batting glove], with his thumb. It’s a thicker pad, but bendable. So we’re going to try to get a little bit over that area, which has nothing to do with last night. It’s just in case of getting hit.”
The biggest wound right now, he suggested, is to his pride, given the friendly teasing that he’s absorbing from teammates for his initial panic in the face of what now seems like it may be a non-injury.
“I’m not hurt,” said Middlebrooks. “I’ve got my tail tucked a little bit. That’s about it.”
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Joe and Alex talked with the Sox AGM about the state of the team as Opening Day approaches.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
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The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show by discussing the latest news on Boston 2024.
The picked up an important win last night over the Panthers, keeping ahead of Ottawa for the 8th seed. Andy Brickley called the game last night for NESN and talks about Tuukka's performance and some other items he picked up.
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The B's scored late in the 3rd to get the win over Florida, but after the game, goalie Tuukka Rask called out his teammates for a poor showing in the 2nd period.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss Robert Kraft's testimony and the Hernandez trial overall as it continues to unfold.
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Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss 'Pasta' and his solid rookie year, and make a few statistical comparisons.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
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Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Will Noonan joins Chris in the studio to review Wrestlemania and Raw.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Kirk's massage and crap all over Sausage.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
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