BOSTON -- Kevin Youkils stepped up his baseball activity Monday, fielding groundballs and making throws from third base before heavy rain arrived at Fenway Park.
However, it's unlikely that Youkilis, sidelined since the last weekend of April because of lower back soreness, will be activated before the weekend, even though he's eligible to come off the DL today.
"He looked pretty good taking ground balls today,'' said manager Bobby Valentine. "I wouldn't think he's very far away. He looked really good moving around."
The tentative plan calls for Youkilis to begin a brief rehab assignment with Pawtucket mid-week, playing a couple of games to get reacclimated to live pitching.
That would put the timetable for his return either this weekend in Philadelphia or early next week in Baltimore.
"I feel good,'' Youkilis said. "I'm trying to get back into the feel of baseball and all that. Once we do that, play a game or two here and there, then hopefully I'll get back to help.''
Youkilis was unsure when his rehab stint would begin.
"For me, I just do what they tell me,'' said Youkilis. "It's probably a good thing to go on a brief rehab after being out for so long. But I'm just following orders.''
"Whenever the medical staff and Kevin say he's ready,'' shrugged Valentine when asked about a timetable.