Drew (concussion) could miss Opening Day

Drew (concussion) could miss Opening Day
March 17, 2013, 11:45 am
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(USA Today Sports)

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox had already resigned themselves to the fact they would open the season on April 1 without their DH, David Ortiz.
      
Now, they're facing the likelihood that their starting shortstop, Stephen Drew, may also not be ready for the opener.
      
Drew was struck in the helmet by a pitch on March 7 and has yet to come close to returning to action.
      
"I think the window starts to narrow a little bit here," said John Farrell. "We're down to the final two weeks. He's going to start to initiate some on-field activity and that's just to go through stretch and play catch. No BP. When those symptoms are fully subsided is when he starts to ramp things up more intently and we're not there yet.
      
"So at some point, we're getting into this last stage of camp and yeah, you've got to start thinking about all the options. And the biggest question is when does he get back into a game?"
      
Walking around or at rest, Drew doesn't feel the symptoms. But when he becomes active, he begins to experience what Farrell described as "a wavy feeling."
      
"We felt like this was going to be a couple of days thing, at the most," said Farrell. "At the time he was hit, we never even thought twice about it. But here we are, 10 days later, we're still in the same situation."
      
Farrell said Drew is in "daily communication" with a leading concussion specialist at the University of Pittsburgh.
      
"This is one of those things where time has to be given for the symptoms to subside," said Farrell.
      
Drew has been taking exertion tests over the last few days, but is limited to how much he can do before the symptoms recur.
      
"When he does get on the bike," said Farrell, "he's not having more symptoms. They're not increasing or intensifying. From that standpoint, that's a positive. But at the same time, he's not ready to get back into a game."
      
In the event that Drew isn't ready in two weeks, it's likely Jose Iglesias would handle shortstop, a prospect that is more palatable now than it might have been a few weeks ago. But Iglesias has made strides in his offensive game and has collected six extra-base hits this spring after focusing on adding some upper-body muscle and making some adjustments at the plate.
      
"He's done a good job," said Farrell. "We talked about his set-up in the box in the early part of camp. We've seen more consistent, hard contact. It can't be totally measured in the batting average, but he's looked aggressive at the plate."