FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Dustin Pedroia had been scheduled to return to the lineup on Friday, following his sprained left wrist of three days earlier. So did his absence from the Red Sox's starting nine against the Blue Jays mean that he had suffered a setback?

As it turns out, everything is fine. The fact that it is Spring Training led manager Terry Francona and the training staff to take the conservative approach.

Pedroia will start Saturday when the Red Sox travel to Sarasota, Fla., to play the Orioles.

"I got benched," quipped Pedroia. "I told Tito he looked like Corrado Soprano, so he benched me. No, they basically told me I need another day. I don't know why."

Francona, as usual, got a kick out of Pedroia's humor.

"I've never watched 'The Sopranos.' I can't imagine that is complimentary," Francona said.

All kidding aside, Francona saw no need to push Pedroia at this juncture of camp. The injury was sustained Tuesday night when the second baseman rolled over on his glove hand while making a diving stop against the Twins.

"He's fine," Francona said. "I just thought that with a week to go, it just didn't make sense to me. I'd rather him be a little antsy and wanting to play, especially today. We're sitting in a meeting, we're sitting around. We're not out on the field [for batting practice]. I just didn't think that made any sense. He may not want to own up to it, but I think he probably agrees."

If Pedroia argues with Francona about sitting out, he made it clear that it would happen during the course of the 162-game season, not the Grapefruit League.

"It's Spring Training," said Pedroia. "If this was the season and he didn't play me, it's going to get ugly. But no, I'm fine. They just gave me an extra day. It's no big deal."

So Saturday will indeed mark the day the fiery second baseman will return?

"Yeah, I guarantee you," Pedroia said. "Where we going?"

He was then informed it was Sarasota for a game against the Orioles.

"I'll be there, with bells on," Pedroia said. "Yes, I promise the bells. I'll have them on."

In 14 games this spring, Pedroia is hitting .351 with one homer and eight RBIs.