FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will not arrive to spring training when position players are required to report to camp Monday, interim manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday.
“He’s still sore,” Roenicke said. “The [left] knee is still sore. The setback is still there. He won’t be here Monday. He’s going to try to evaluate what happens here. He’s going to continue to talk to the people in Arizona and [head trainer] Brad [Pearson] to figure out what the next step is and where he goes from it.”
News of Pedroia’s latest setback in his comeback attempt from his left knee injury emerged in late January. Over the past two seasons, he has played just nine games, collecting three hits in 34 plate appearances.
The fan favorite initially suffered the knee injury in 2017, when he collided with Baltimore’s Manny Machado on a slide at second base. Pedroia last played a game on April 17, 2019.
Over the past several years, he has had multiple surgeries. In October 2017, Pedroia had a cartilage restoration procedure. That was followed by scar tissue removal in July 2018. This past August, Pedroia underwent knee joint preservation surgery, an alternative to knee replacement.
“It was never comfortable on the other side having to face him, especially when the game is on the line,” Roenicke said. “It’s just not comfortable. Whenever you see a great player age differently and he’s not as good, that part is easy to see. But not when it’s an injury and he’s not been able to perform. That part is really difficult.”
Pedroia previously expressed doubts last May about his ability to return to the field.
“I’m at a point right now where I need some time. That’s what my status is,” Pedroia said at that time. “Some days, I feel fine, and an hour later, walking is tough. If I’m on an hour-to-hour basis of being able to do anything athletically, that’s tough. I think the time will give me the right answer of if I can do this.”
Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said he recently talked to Pedroia about his injury situation.
“You never want to hear when someone has a setback, especially a player of his caliber and what he means to not only this team, but this organization,” Bradley said. “He’s special, and hopefully we can see him soon.”
Through his 14-year career in the majors, Pedroia has hit .299/.365/.439 with 140 homers, 394 doubles and 725 RBIs. He earned American League MVP honors in 2008, when he hit .326/.376/.493 with 17 homers and 83 RBIs, and has won four Gold Gloves.