J.D. Drew has been hobbling all week with a stiff back, but he seemed to be making progress until the injury regressed yesterday. That's when the team sent him to the hospital to be examined. He's still awaiting the results of an MRI, but the early prognosis is that he's suffered a herniated disc. From Jeff Horrigan of the Boston Herald:
"I don't want to miss any more time, but it could be ready (today) or (tomorrow)," the right fielder said. "When I had it in Japan (in late March), it hurt for a couple of days, the spasm went away and I felt better. I thought I was heading in the right direction (Thursday) because it felt better, but now it's really stiff. We'll try to get it calmed down and back to baseball activities."Drew is hoping to avoid a trip to the DL, and considering the unpredictability of his recovery (as well as the fact that roster expansion is just a week away), he'll likely be granted his wish. That said, the Red Sox sorely miss his presence in the lineup. His spot has been filled by Coco Crisp, who's hit .227 with exactly two extra-base hits since the All-Star break.
In other scuttlebutt from the trainer's room, Terry Francona revealed a bit more about Josh Beckett's status, admitting for the first time that Beckett has inflammation as well as numbness and tingling in his right elbow. When the team decided earlier in the week that he'd skip his scheduled start on Saturday, the hope was that he'd return to the mound on Tuesday. Now, the plan is for him to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday and make his next start on Friday.