Victorino still out, but hopeful of avoiding DL

Victorino still out, but hopeful of avoiding DL
April 30, 2013, 7:30 pm
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TORONTO -- Outfielder Shane Victorino remained out of the lineup for the fifth straight game Tuesday, but the Red Sox remained hopeful
that the outfielder was making progress and could avoid a stint on the disabled list.
Victorino left the game last Wednesday with lower back tightness and hasn't returned. Daniel Nava was in right field Tuesday night as
the Red Sox opened a six-game roadtrip.
"He's showing some improvement,'' said John Farrell of Victorino. "He went out and hit in the cage off the tee, threw, went through some other exercises in the gym and while he's unavailable tonight, there is some improvement continuing to be made.''
Farrell said the Sox will have to make a decision about Victorino -- one way or another -- by Thursday.
"As we get to the end of the series,'' Farrell said, "we may have to consider some roster change. But based on the improvement that he's shown, we're still hopeful.''
The Sox have essentially been playing with a 24-man roster for the past five games, with Victorino active but unavailable. Obviously,
that can't continue much longer.
"That's probably the threshold, come Thursday,'' said Farrell, "where we might have to adjust.''
Complicating matters somewhat is the artificial surface at Rogers Centre, which can create problems for even the healthiest players.
"It's one of the things that we talked about coming into town,'' said Farrell, "knowing that it can have an adverse effect on guys. I
think, first and foremost, whether it's a turf or not, we've got to  to determine is he ready to go. Then we'll factor the other things into that.''
One thing the Sox don't want to do is play Victorino for one game, only to learn that he's not ready and the ability to back-date him is lost. That happened recently with the New York Yankees and Kevin Youkilis.
"All those things have to factored in,'' Farrell said. "We stated  before that it would be great to get him to the point where he's ready to go and then maybe give him one more day to ensure that. But while he's making progress, we've got to be [cognizant] that in an eight-day time, it flared up twice.''