Pedroia (hand) not in lineup Wednesday


Pedroia (hand) not in lineup Wednesday

Dustin Pedroia left last night's game after getting jammed at the plate, seemingly re-aggravating the thumb injury he suffered earlier this season. As a precautionary measure, Bobby Valentine said that Pedroia will not start against Miami tonight.

Valentine sat down for his weekly interview with WEEI and said he is taking the "cautious route" with his second baseman.

"Dustin came in, said he felt really good," Valentine told WEEI on Thursday. "He was more shocked than worried last night when that ball got in on his hands."

Pedroia shook off the injury when asked about it before Wednesday's game.

"I'm not playing today. I'll be in there tomorrow though. I feel fine." "I'm not playing today," he said. "I'll be in there tomorrow though. I feel fine."

He also said he was available to play tonight if needed.

Pedroia left Tuesday nights game following the seventh inning after hitting a pop-up on an inside pitch. Pedroia suffered a partially torn adductor muscle and missed six games in late May and early June. He has been wearing a guard around his right thumb to absorb some of the pounding his hand takes at the plate.

Nick Punto will start at second base tonight in Pedroia's place.

Here's the Red Sox lineup for Wednesday:

1. Daniel Nava, LF
2. Ryan Kalish, CF
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Cody Ross, RF
6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
7. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
8. Mike Aviles, SS
9. Nick Punto, 2B

SP -- Felix Doubront

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.

Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice


Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice

BOSTON - The Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front with Kelly Olynyk being cleared for full contact.
The 7-foot center participated in most of the Celtics’ drills on Saturday, some of which included contact.
Olynyk said he had been doing some contact work prior to practice Saturday, but in a more controlled setting.
“I’m just trying to ramp it up a little bit more, every day,” Olynyk said. “Just trying to take a step in the right direction every day.”
Olynyk had surgery on his right shoulder in May with him expected to be out for at least five months.
Danny Ainge, C's president of basketball operations, recently said that he anticipated Olynyk returning sometime in the middle of November.
That would put his return about six months out from the time of surgery.

“He did a lot more than he has done,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll see how he feels and progress at the appropriate rate after that.”
One of the strengths that Olynyk brought to the floor when he played was the ability to help space the floor because of his 3-point shooting.
Olynyk was not just a good 3-point shooter for a center, but one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA last season when he connected on 40.5 percent of his 3s last season.  And it’s clear that last season was not a fluke, evident by him shooting 37.3 percent on 3s for his career.
However, the addition of Al Horford not only solidified the Celtics’ interior defense but also provides them with another stretch center.
Horford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, shot 34 percent on 3s last season which at the very least, makes him a player that defenses have to respect when he’s outside of the 3-point line.