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04/18/08 7:17 PM ET

Red Sox not rushing Cora back

Until he's completely healthy, infielder will wait it out on bench

BOSTON -- Considering his value over the past two seasons as the club's most versatile infielder, the Red Sox are not taking any chances with Alex Cora's right elbow.

Boston is shutting down the infielder and keeping him from throwing a baseball following an MRI on Thursday.

"We've already spoken with [doctors] and trainers," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "In layman's language, we're going to slow him down until he's completely pain-free, whether that's three days, seven days, 10 days, that's up to how he feels. Then we'll get him back to baseball."

"I think we've got to shut it down for a little bit and map a plan," Cora said. "That's why we have to meet with everybody. Map out a plan and go from there."

As for the MRI, it was Cora's second one in as many weeks since he went on the disabled list on April 10 with a sprained right elbow.

"There was nothing seen in the MRI that is alarming," Francona said. "It confirmed what our trainers thought and our doctors thought. But we do want him to stop the throwing until he's pain-free. They do certain movements -- certain actions where they can replicate that pain -- and they want that to go away before he does baseball activities."

"The first one didn't work out too good, so I had to do it again [on Thursday]," Cora explained.

Cora has managed to keep his sense of humor while rehabbing the elbow, which he injured while making a throw across to first base while taking ground balls prior to the April 10 game against the Tigers.

"It feels the same," Cora said. "The only movement with the arm was with the [TV] remote, watching these clowns play, watching Sean Casey, a professional athlete with no balance."

But that doesn't mean Cora isn't frustrated watching from the bench, unable to contribute.

"I don't know how big a deal," Cora said of the severity of his injury. "I thought it was something that was a few days and now it looks like weeks now. It's been a week already, and it's going to take another week."

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.