Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is still having trouble returning from knee surgery. The 34-year-old has played in just three games this season due to the issue, and it doesn’t sound like the Red Sox expect him to return any time soon.
Pedroia will continue his rehab away from the team in Arizona for the time being, according to Jen McCaffery of The Athletic. While manager Alex Cora said he expects Pedroia to return this season, he indicated that it would be a while before that happened.
Pedroia will head back to his home in Arizona to continue physical therapy at the place he rehabbed this winter. Cora still expects him back this year but not anytime soon. No timetable to return. Want him to focus on strengthening muscles supporting knee—glute, hamstring, core
— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) July 10, 2018
Why won’t Dustin Pedroia return to the Red Sox any time soon?
Pedroia underwent major knee surgery during the offseason. He had a microfracture procedure and a procedure that replaced cartilage in his knee. In early May, Pedroia told The Athletic it was, “Probably the toughest surgery I’ve had.”
Pedroia was able to return to the Red Sox for three games at the end of May, but his knee didn’t respond the way he anticipated. Days after his 2018 debut, he was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his surgically repaired knee. Cora initially thought Pedroia would only need 10 days before he returned, but Pedroia’s recovery has taken much longer.
What are the chances Dustin Pedroia bounces back from this injury?
Pedroia’s doctor is optimistic about his chances of a full recovery. He explained to Chad Jennings of The Athletic that the type of injury Pedroia suffered takes time to heal. Pedroia needs to build up the cartilage graft in his knee to the point where it can handle the rigors of a 162-game season.
When will Dustin Pedroia return to the Red Sox?
That’s not known at the moment. Cora makes it sound like it’s going to take time for Pedroia to get his knee back into playing shape. Based on Cora’s comments, it seems like it will take multiple weeks before Pedroia is ready to re-join the club.
What will the Red Sox do without Dustin Pedroia?
The team has been getting by with Eduardo Nuñez and Brock Holt at second base with Pedroia sidelined. The 31-year-old Nuñez has struggled this season, hitting .256/.286/.370 over 305 plate appearances. Holt has been better, hitting .296/.376/.401 over 186 plate appearances.
Neither player has really held back the club. Without Pedroia, the Red Sox still lead baseball with 63 wins.
Should the Red Sox trade for a second baseman with Dustin Pedroia sidelined?
The team could go that route, though there’s not a ton of urgency. The Red Sox might be the best team in baseball as currently constructed. If Pedroia comes back at 100 percent, they’ll be even stronger by the postseason.
That’s no guarantee, though. If the team wants to protect itself in case Pedroia fails to return, they could explore some trade options at the deadline. But it’s not a move they have to make.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik
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