It’s unpleasant to read about even if it isn’t entirely surprising: veteran Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered a “significant setback” in his efforts to return to the field of play, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). Details are scarce as yet, but it seems that Pedroia’s oft-repaired left knee is again to blame.
According to Abraham, Pedroia is now considered “questionable” at best to participate in Spring Training. That seems like a mild summation if indeed there’s a truly significant new problem with Pedroia’s long-problematic joint. He’s said to be weighing his future at the moment.
It’s not as if the Red Sox were relying heavily upon Pedroia in 2020. He was never expected to be ready until the middle of the season, if at all, in his latest attempt at a comeback after two lost seasons and multiple surgeries.
But it wasn’t hard to root for the gritty 36-year-old, a hard-nosed player beloved by Boston fans. And the team surely would’ve welcomed a contribution, given that it still owes Pedroia $25MM over the next two campaigns.
It seems the door is still cracked for a return. But even if this latest setback doesn’t completely sideline Pedroia on its own, it adds to the already heavy cumulative effect — both physically and psychologically — and raises the bar yet again for him to return to anything approaching his former glory on the ballfield.