KANSAS CITY -- Twice this season, Chris Woodward thought his time with the Red Sox had ended. On Aug. 15, the same day Boston reacquired Alex Gonzalez, Woodward was designated for assignment. And just last week, with the club needing a roster spot for Daisuke Matsuzaka, Woodward was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket. This, even though the Minor League season was over.

But there Woodward was again on Monday, embarking on his third roster stint with the Red Sox. The reason Woodward was needed is that utility infielder Nick Green's health is very much in question.

Green last played for the Red Sox on Wednesday, the night he worked a dramatic game-tying walk in the bottom of the ninth inning of a comeback win over the Angels. As it turns out, Green could barely stand during that at-bat, as his right leg had a "dead leg" type of feeling.

The Red Sox hoped that was all it was, but Green's condition didn't get any better over the weekend in Baltimore, so he went back to Boston for medical tests instead of joining the team in Kansas City.

Now, it appears that Green might have a back issue.

"He went over to swing in the cage, took a swing and it kind of gave out on him. This was Sunday," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "OK, we got together, sent him back last night to Boston. He was examined today, [by team medical director] Tom Gill and the guys over there. I think they think there's a little bit ... it might be disc-related. So now, he'll stay in Boston the next couple of days and work with [physical therapist] Scott Waugh. We'll try to get a little bit better handle on where to go with him and how to proceed."

While Gonzalez has been a mainstay since his return, starting all but one game, the Red Sox are a little thin in the backup department without Green. Jed Lowrie is back on the roster, but his surgically repaired left wrist probably won't be 100 percent until next season.

Francona remains uncertain of how much he can ask of Lowrie, who did come up with a key pinch-hit in the same game Green drew the game-tying walk.

"We're trying to get to that point where we get him in games, but not too quickly and not to the point where he has a setback because of [Green's unavailability]," Francona said. "We were trying to figure out over the next 10 days, two weeks, what we can do or what we can't. We'll try to answer that. But I don't think he's to the point where we could send him out, especially left-handed, for four at-bats and he would have a comfort level."

All of that has brought Woodward back into the mix.

"I've never had quite a year like that," said Woodward. "I pretty much thought the season was over."

The veteran was back home in Tampa, Fla., waiting for his wife, Erin, to deliver the couple's third child. She is due in early October.

"She was happy," said Woodward. "She said, 'I'll give you a call if something happens.' The doctor thought she was going to go early, but now she doesn't know. She thinks it might be right around the [Oct. 5]."