Lowrie undergoes wrist surgery
Shortstop could resume swinging a bat in six weeks
BOSTON -- Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie underwent surgery on his ailing left wrist on Tuesday in Arizona. The procedure was performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan.
If Lowrie doesn't hit any bumps in the road during his rehab, he should be able to resume swinging a bat in roughly six weeks. That means that he could be back in the lineup at some point in June or July.
"Everything that was done today puts him right on track to start swinging a bat at six weeks which is, I think, what the hope was when this kind of came up," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I think it's exactly what they thought and what they hoped would be. So that's good news."
The positive development of the surgery is that Sheridan found no damage to the cartilage in Lowrie's wrist.
"Everything that I've been told so far is six to eight weeks," Lowrie told the MLB Network on the eve of his surgery. "This is going to be better for me in the long run. I'll just prepare myself for the rehab that it takes and get myself back on the field."
Julio Lugo -- Boston's other starting-caliber shortstop -- could be activated within a week. Lugo, who underwent right knee surgery in March, is starting a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday and is expected to be there through Sunday. At that point, the Red Sox will reevaluate Lugo's status.
The Red Sox open a road trip in Cleveland on Monday, which could mark Lugo's return to the lineup.
Nick Green has been starting at shortstop in the absence of Lowrie and Lugo.
As for Lowrie, he suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left wrist last May and played the rest of the season with it. After treatment, rest and strengthening over the offseason, Lowrie hoped it wouldn't be an issue in 2009.
But those hopes were dashed late in Spring Training when the pain started to come back. The shortstop started the season 1-for-18 before being forced to shut it down.
Lowrie was examined by several doctors in Boston and he made a trip to Baltimore to see a hand specialist there before the trip to Arizona solidified his choice to have surgery.
"I feel like I exhausted every option up to this point," Lowrie told the MLB Network. "When the season was over, we did a cortisone shot and a bone stimulator. I came to Spring Training ready to go and it didn't hold, it didn't last. I tried the cortisone again last week and I still had some symptoms. It just seemed that surgery was the next step."
It's too early to tell exactly when Lowrie will be activated.
"We try to give you an honest assessment of where we're at. I don't know if you can put an exact date on it," Francona said. "He'll be in a splint for approximately 10 days. He will have his stitches taken out after 10 days. He will be put in a little more of a contraption where he can start moving.
"Dr. Sheridan still thinks at six weeks he's going to be swinging a bat. From there, everybody is a little different. Some guys are a couple of weeks quicker, some guys are a little bit slower. We'll see. I think it's generally really good news."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.