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Source: Will Middlebrooks playing with separated rib

05.11.13 at 9:05 am ET

While multiple major league sources say that Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks did not suffer any fracture or crack to his ribs in his Tuesday collision with David Ross, according to an industry source, he is dealing with a separated rib — a somewhat misleading term that refers not to the ribs themselves, but instead to tearing of the rib bone from the cartilage that connects it to the sternum. The condition continues to leave Middlebrooks in considerable pain not just when he hits and throws but also, at times, when he breathes — something that became apparent on Thursday night when trainers had to visit him by the mound when John Lackey was pitching early in the game.

“I just went to John [Lackey] and said, ‘Hey, give me a second.’ I couldn’t catch my breath. I still can’t. I take that deep breath and just, the swelling — I don’t know if it’s in my lungs or just the muscles around it or it spasmed up,” Middlebrooks recounted. “I just told John and said, ‘Hey, let me have a sec.’ He called them in and I was like, ‘Ugh.’ He said, ‘I thought you were going to have a heart attack and just wanted to get them out there. Plus, it gives you a little extra time.’ I just needed a sec. I’d just hit that double and I just couldn’t catch my breath.”

While Middlebrooks did not want to discuss the particulars of his injury, he is comfortable that it is a condition he can play through. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles on Friday while recording seven assists.

For more on Middlebrooks’ efforts to play through his injury, click here.

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