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Lowell clarifies thumb situation

12.21.09 at 8:52 pm ET
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Speaking by phone from Orlando, Mike Lowell clarified the history of the thumb injury that ultimately led to the cancellation of the trade that would have sent him and $9 million to Texas for minor league catcher/infielder Max Ramirez.

“I was in constant and open communication about my thumb situation from the moment it happened to every week after,” he said, pointing to a foul ball against Cleveland starter Jeremy Sowers as the cause for what is now diagnosed as a strain of the radial collateral ligament in his right thumb. Lowell said that he was asked by the Red Sox to take an MRI on Dec. 7 after being put in a splint at the suggestion of Red Sox trainer Mike Reinold, who had visited Lowell in Miami on Nov. 25.

“I’ve had very open and honest communication with the training and medical staff,” Lowell added. “The day this thing happened it was X-rayed and I told them about the pain, which was Oct. 2. That’s why I didn’t play the other two games [in the regular season]. We taped it up in a way that we thought would help me in the postseason. They thought it might be a strain or a bone bruise. I don’t want to lay blame on anybody because in ’07 my other thumb got hurt and they thought it was a strain as well and it ended up being that way and everything settled down nice and easy.

“I was in constant contact with the training staff and I told them at the two-week [mark] I didn’t feel a difference with my thumb and at the four-week mark it was the same thing and then at the seven-week mark Mike Reinold flew down to Miami to check it out and that’s when they decided to put me in the splint and keep it immobilized for a month. That’s when the thinking was that it might be something more than it was originally thought to be. The first day of the winter meetings was when I was ordered to get an MRI.

“I understand the business. That first day was to make sure the medicals could be sent to other teams. I have no problem in them shopping me around. But I would have preferred to have the surgery in October once the season was officially over [if the extent of the injury was known]. I don’t want to race to spring training.”

Lowell expects to be ready for baseball activities the first week of spring training, which will put him eight weeks out from the surgery, which is expected to take place shortly after Christmas.

“I was in constant communication with the training staff,” Lowell said. “This did not crop up anywhere. I told them two weeks later, four weeks later and seven weeks later until I finally got the MRI.”

Lowell also disputes the Red Sox’ assertion that the injury wasn’t a point of emphasis in the team’s exit interview.

“It definitely was [brought up],” he said. “You have to understand the exit interview is the last day and it was hurting at the time. That’s where I defer to the medical staff. If they had told me to get an MRI that day, I would have done it.”

The third baseman didn’t believe, however, at the conclusion of the season that the injury would result in surgery.

“Surgery? No,” Lowell said. “I was in a lot of pain in ’07 for a couple of weeks and the doctors told me it was going to get better and it did. I always defer to the medical staff. They know better than me, I’m not a doctor. So I did the same thing in this case, but I did mention concern [that] as the weeks went by I wasn’t getting better.”

When asked what he thought would ultimately happen in regards to another potential trade Lowell said, ‘€œI have no idea. I have absolutely no idea. That’€™s not my department.”

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