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07/16/10 9:24 PM ET

V-Mart progressing on left side

BOSTON -- Continuing to recover from a broken left thumb, Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez took batting practice from the left side Friday for the second consecutive day.

"From the left side, that's the one thing he can kind of handle, and if you saw him, he's swinging the bat pretty well actually," manager Terry Francona said. "Right-handed, he still can't do it, and he can't catch yet."

Martinez sustained the injury to his left thumb June 27 at San Francisco after a foul tip off his glove, and he has been on the disabled list since June 28.

The Boston catcher had a scan on his broken thumb before Thursday's game, and he said it showed his thumb getting a lot better.

"Once we can get that glove on and he can catch, they can rig up a sort of contraption to take away some of the pressure," Francona said. "But he's just not there yet."

While Martinez has continued to have swelling in his thumb, he is more concerned with any lingering pain.

"I don't care if it's still swelling, but if the pain is still there, I won't be able to play a full inning," said Martinez.

Pedroia cleared to put pressure on foot

BOSTON -- On the disabled list since June 26 with a broken left foot, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was finally cleared to begin weight-bearing drills Friday.

Before Friday's game against the Rangers, Pedroia played catch while standing and putting pressure on his foot.

"I feel good. I am finally off the crutches, which is a good thing," Pedroia said. "The doctor said my bone is healing good and parts are already forming back together. I have to be in a boot for a few more weeks. They told me I can't play until I don't feel anything."

While Pedroia was told by doctors that the break would take six weeks to heal, but he is hoping to be back before that.

"I am happy with the fact that it is healing," Pedroia said. "I didn't think it would take this long. They told me six weeks, and I thought I could be back sooner than that. I guess I have to be smart, because if I come back too early and that bone breaks off, I am out for the rest of the year. I just have to be smart and let it heal."

Pedroia sustained the injury June 25 in San Francisco after fouling a ball off his left foot.

To prevent further injury when he returns, Pedroia will wear a specialty shoe created for him by New Balance, which he was fitted for before Friday's game.

"He can do a lot with the boot, but he's got to keep the boot on," manager Terry Francona said. "He can hit. He can do anything he can do. That thing's a little bit burdensome, which I'm sure is why he has it on. But there's a lot of healing, so that's good.

"He'll be examined again in 10 days to two weeks, and when he's not point-tender, that'll mean he can get that boot off and start getting after it a little bit."

While Pedroia received upbeat news on the status of his injury, Boston catcher Jason Varitek has not healed as quickly, Francona said.

Placed on the disabled list July 2 after a foul tip hit his foot three days earlier against the Rays, Varitek had a scan taken on his foot Friday by Red Sox doctors.

"'Tek is a little bit behind," Francona said. "There's not as much healing with, which I think they expected, and he's probably a couple weeks behind Pedey. That's very broad and things can change, but that's about how it was explained to me."

Buchholz makes Minors rehab start

BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz made what will likely be the only start of his Minor League rehab assignment, giving up four hits and two runs over 3 2/3 innings on Friday night at Syracuse.

Pitching for Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate, Buchholz walked one and struck out two. He threw 60 pitches, 33 for strikes.

Buchholz has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, going 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA. The righty strained his left hamstring running the bases in a game at San Francisco on June 26.

He is expected to re-join Boston's rotation for Wednesday afternoon's game at Oakland. Felix Doubront filled in for Buchholz on Friday night at Fenway Park against the Rangers.

Beltre back despite not being 100 percent

BOSTON -- After sitting out Thursday's second-half opener against the Rangers, Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre was in the starting lineup for Friday's game.

Tweaking his left hamstring Sunday in Toronto, Beltre resumed his spot at the hot corner, with manager Terry Francona keeping a watchful eye on him.

"He's certainly not 100 percent," Francona said. "I think what were hoping is we can get the production out of his bat, and if we need to pinch-run for him later, we certainly would."

Beltre had a preliminary MRI exam done Thursday, with reports showing no damage to the hamstring.

"It's not perfect and we recognize that; he's not going to be perfect tomorrow," Francona said. "He hasn't felt perfect for a while, but he's been a pretty good player. But the hope is again to get the production out of his bat."

Worth noting

The Rex Sox optioned right-hander Robert Manuel to Triple-A Pawtucket and selected righty Fernando Cabrera before Friday's game. ... Manager Terry Francona said the Red Sox would activate pitcher Manny Delcarmen from the disabled list on Saturday after he pitched one inning of scoreless ball for Double-A Portland on Thursday. ... Jed Lowrie, on the 60-day disabled list since March, went 1-for-4 with a double and RBI for Pawtucket on Thursday. On Lowrie, Francona said, "He's doing really well. We got a report from [Class A Lowell manager] Bruce Crabbe that was about as upbeat as we've seen in a long time. He said the last four or five days, the light's kind of come on with Jed. He feels like he's turned that corner, and we're starting to see that player that we've all talked about. He's not dragging. He doesn't feel fatigued and he feels pretty good about himself." ... Jacoby Ellsbury, who is continuing his hitting program down in Fort Myers, Fla., with Tom Goodwin, is ahead of schedule. "He actually requested if he could go above," Francona said. "There's some parameters set up for him for his schedule, and he wanted to do a little bit more, which we were completely OK with, because it's as-tolerated. That's his program. So if he can tolerate more, go." ... Fresh off his win in the Home Run Derby on Monday, David Ortiz brought his trophy into the Red Sox's clubhouse Friday, with players walking by and taking a look in between batting practice.

Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.