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Ben Cherington on how the Red Sox will handle the Cody Ross injury

05.21.12 at 7:06 pm ET
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BALTIMORE — Red Sox GM Ben Cherington checked in prior to the start of Monday’s game between the Red Sox and Orioles. Here are the bullet points:

— He confirmed the diagnosis of a navicular fracture in the left foot of outfielder Cody Ross, and said that a “general framework” for the expected recovery time is six to eight weeks. “The medical staff is confident he will heal without surgery,” Cherington said of the non-displaced fracture. While a navicular fracture is the same injury that wiped out most of the final three months of Dustin Pedroia‘s season in 2010, Cherington said that Ross’ fracture is both smaller and in a slightly different spot.

— With the right-handed-hitting Ross out, Cherington said that the team is looking for ways to bolster its right-handed thump. Thus, the idea of keeping Kevin Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks on the roster at the same time — while perhaps having Adrian Gonzalez play some right field — is being considered more intensely than it was before Ross’ injury.

“We lost a good right-handed hitter today for a while so it’€™s hard to lose more right-handed hitters. [Keeping both Youkilis and Middlebrooks on the roster] is a consideration in light of that,” said Cherington. “We’€™re still talking about it. We’€™ll see how it would work. At a time like this, it’€™s important to slow things down and try to make decisions for the right reason. We want to do what’€™s best for the team, certainly, but also what’€™s best for the players. It is something we’€™ve discussed and talked about what it would be like if we did. At a time when you have a lot of injuries at one spot, sometimes you might have to come up with solutions that you might not have thought of two months ago. We’€™re talking about all sorts of things.’€

— As for Gonzalez playing the outfield, Cherington agreed with manager Bobby Valentine that Fenway Park represents “a little bit more of a challenge,” but he said that Gonzalez appears “comfortable out there.” The GM said such a move is “not something we’d want to do a lot long-term,” but under the circumstances, the possibility is in play.

“I think Adrian is comfortable out there. He sees the ball off the bat well. I think Bobby has a good feel for how much he can do that and how to be safe for him and safe for the team,” said Cherington. “Fenway is a little bit more of a challenge because of the space out there. Some of the ballparks we play in on the road there’€™s a little less ground to cover. Maybe that becomes an option. It’€™s not something that we want to do a lot long term. In the short term, perhaps every once in a while within Adrian’€™s comfort level.’€

— Cherington said that the Sox were already looking at options to bolster their outfield depth on the trade market, but there hasn’t been much of note available. He said that there’s “nothing imminent” on the trade front.

“We’€™ve been banged up in the outfield before today. We were looking for ways to upgrade if we could; we’€™ll continue to do that, but there’€™s nothing imminent,” said Cherington. “Other teams are banged up like we are. When you’€™re depleted, it’€™s hard to give guys up. We’€™ll keep working at it. As always, look internal first and see if we could find solutions and we need the guys here to keep stepping up as they have been.”

— Cherington said that Jacoby Ellsbury is progressing well in his rehab from a subluxed shoulder, and that the team is “hopeful” that an early July return might be possible, though he added that there is no specific timetable for him to commence baseball activities, let alone return to big league games.

Carl Crawford isn’t swinging yet, but the team is again hoping for an early- to mid-July return by the outfielder.

— The GM expressed optimism that Youkilis can be a steady lineup presence upon his return from the DL. He said that the team views Youkilis’ health situation as distinct from the one that made Mike Lowell a part-time player by the second half of 2008.

“We’€™ve got to listen to him and see how he responds. He’€™s had a couple days off during the short rehab assignment he’€™s been on. He’€™s playing tonight. Kind of see how he does, see how he responds everyday,” said Cherington. “He’€™s obviously been an everyday player throughout his career, so he’€™s used to doing that. He’€™s gone through some things. Bobby will be careful, I’€™m sure, and if giving him a day here and there helps him, then that’€™s something we can do.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka is back on the major league disabled list from his minor league rehab assignment. When he’s ready to pitch again, the Sox will be able to commence a new 30-day rehab assignment for him. The paperwork has already been approved updating the status of Matsuzaka’s disabled list stint.

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