Lowell making headway with injury
Veteran taking nice, safe approach before returning to club
NEW YORK -- After spending a week at his home in Miami, where he was able to rehab his strained right oblique and spend quality time with his family, Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell returned to the team on Tuesday with a far more positive outlook on his injury.
Though Lowell's return to the active roster still isn't imminent, he is ready to progress to baseball activities.
Lowell will hit off a tee on Wednesday and then likely progress to soft toss on Thursday.
"I've been throwing for about three, four days, pain-free," Lowell said. "That's good. I'm doing a lot of strength exercises. All of it, I'd say, has been pain-free. I think today was more an evaluation day. I think tomorrow we'll start hitting off the tee and go from there. I'm really excited though. I'd say for four or five days, normal daily activities haven't really bothered me at all. I think that's progress."
Due to Lowell's highly competitive nature, he agrees it's best to let the team set the pace of his return.
"I really don't want to come back, take one really violent swing and backtrack; I'll defer to their education," said Lowell.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said it's still tough to put a precise date on when Lowell will return.
Is a Minor League rehab assignment -- however brief -- necessary for Lowell, who last played since Aug. 12?
"Not really," said Lowell. "I think I was hitting .200 for a while before that so you figure I can get better."
Before injuring his oblique, Lowell had also been playing with a great deal of pain in his right hip.
And after missing the time he has with the oblique, it has become more apparent to Lowell that the hip injury might have to be dealt with during the offseason.
"I think it's something I'll be able to play through the season with and then we'll reevaluate it in the offseason," Lowell said. "I [thought] the time off would make it better, and I'm not sure we've done that."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.