For a few harrowing moments Saturday night, Theo Epstein envisioned the Red Sox arriving at Opening Day missing their starting middle infield. It's bad enough seeing "MRI results revealed" and "starting shortstop" in the same sentence. It's worse getting a panicked phone call from the Team USA general manager that fuses "MVP" and "oblique injury."
A day later, when Epstein surveyed the expected damage for Julio Lugo and Dustin Pedroia, worry had ceded to relief. "It could have been a lot worse," Epstein said.
Lugo suffered the more severe injury, and he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee tomorrow in Boston, a procedure the team expects will keep him sidelined until roughly Opening Day. Dr. Thomas Gill will perform the operation, which will determine the significance of Lugo's injury, feared to be a torn meniscus.
Pedroia will miss only a few days with a strain in his left abdominal muscle, which Pedroia said "won't be an issue." It is a far less serious injury than the initially feared oblique strain, which could have sidelined Pedroia for 6-8 weeks. Pedroia was so unworried that he could joke about it in his typically cocksure manner.