Victorino's return may be delayed

Victorino's return may be delayed
June 2, 2013, 7:15 pm
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NEW YORK -- As recently as a few days ago, the Red Sox were optimistic that outfielder Shane Victorino would be ready to rejoin the club as soon as he's eligible to do so on Wednesday.

Now, that's not going to happen.

Victorino, who's been on the DL with a hamstring pull, had been taking batting practice but hadn't tried to run much. When he did so Sunday afternoon, he found that he couldn't cut loose, throwing his projected return date back.

Originally, the Sox were hopeful that he would begin a brief rehab assignment as early as Monday. But Victorino showed Sunday that he's not yet ready for that, and thus, not ready to be activated.

"At times, he was (tentative),'' Farrell said of Victorino's sprints in the outfield. "He's not running at 100 percent yet. The one thing that we're being cautious with here is that, based on experience of having him come right back (in April) and play successive games (following a back injury), he's had a couple of those setbacks.

"We want to be sure that there's a gradual improvement, which he's showing. To say that he's going to go on a rehab assignment (Monday) or the next day is probably a little premature at this point. So we're just being probably a little overly cautious, given what's transpired.''

Farrell stressed that while the projection had been for a Wednesday return, Victorino hadn't regressed.

"There's been no setback ies to get to that explosiveness, he doesn't have quite the confidence and we're, honestly, telling him to gradually get into it. What we don't want him to do is turn this extended period (where he's out for a long time).

"If it takes a couple of more days than the June 5 activation date, then we're certainly willing to do what it takes to get by that. But what we don't want to do is have that date be a drop-dead date where, all of a sudden he's back and re-aggravates it.''

Farrell said there were "no issues when he's swinging the bat. It's just the acceleration. And obviously, that's a big part of his game.''

In Victorino's absence, the Sox have gotten strong play from others who've been given playing time. Mike Carp is hitting .318 (6-for-19) in his last seven games, while Daniel Nava is hitting .328 in his last 16 games.

In the Red Sox' 11-1 win on Saturday, Jackie Bradley Jr., promoted to give the Sox another outfielder, collected three hits from the bottom of the batting order.