SARASOTA, Fla. -- When third baseman Will Middlebrooks took an awkward check swing in the first inning Wednesday night and was forced to leave the game, holding his right wrist gingerly, he had reason to expect the worst.
After all, the same wrist was broken last August in Cleveland when Middlebrooks was struck by a pitch.
As it turns out, however, it was only a scare, likely the result of some scar tissue breaking up from the previous injury.
"That's what we're leaning toward," said Middlebrooks. "That's our best bet. Nothing's broken, nothing's torn. It was just kind of a scary, awkward swing and we wanted to make sure everything's fine.
"It's not as serious as we thought it was. It was just more of a scare because of the area where it was, right where I broke it last year. I just took a swing and obviously it looked pretty awkward and felt just as awkward as it looks.
"It was just precautionary (to come out of the game). I probably could have stayed in the game and been fine. But they just wanted to make sure everything was alright."
Middlebrooks said no x-rays were taken and none are planned.
"I have all of my strength," he said. "We did a strength test and everything's there. Like I said, it was precauionary. It felt weird on the swing. It was an awkward thing and everything, as of now, seems fine."
As he left the field, Middlebrooks could be seen firing his helmet in frustration.
"I was just frustrated," he said. "I've been busting my ass trying to get this thing to where I can play and in my head, I was worried there might be a setback and I don't think there's going to be.
"I didn't think I broke it again. It was just kind of an awkward feeling. It just kind of worried us a little bit, worried me for sure. But I feel fine."
Middlebrooks described the at-bat against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman as "a fastball up-and-in. I kind of started (to swing) early and tried to check it and I don't know if my hand slipped off the bat or what, but it didn't feel right."
He said he felt discomfort in the same area "on the swing. But even now, it feels a lot better. As of now, I have all my strength and the pain's going away."
Middlebrooks plans to get re-evaluated Thursday.
"Hopefully, it won't be more than a day (out of action)," he said. "Best case sceanrio, we'll take BP (Thursday)."
"He felt better after he was examined here in the clubhouse," said John Farrell. "We'll get further tests on him in the morning to see what the next steps are going to be. But I think as the initial discomfort wore off, he felt pretty good about it. But like I said, how he gets re-examined in the morning will give us our next steps.
"What we'll check is how he comes in in the morning. If there's overnight soreness or any kind of swelling, certainly every precautionary test will be done at that time. But everything was encouraging based on the tests tonight."
The Red Sox are thin at the position, with only Pedro Ciriaco having any sort of experience at third in the big leagues. For the time being, however, that depth shouldn't be an issue.
"The way he felt afterwards," said Farrell, "hopefully this is something that's just a short-term thing where he's day-to-day. But everyone saw last year when he was missed in that lineup, that's a potent righthanded bat. Hopefully, this is just a day-to-day type thing and every indication is it's just that right now."