BOSTON (CBS) — The initial prognosis was mid-April. Then, there was some optimism for opening day. Then, a setback, and it was back to mid-April, or maybe late April.

Now, though, the outlook for Carl Crawford’s return from injury looks a lot worse.

Crawford has been diagnosed with a ligament sprain in his left elbow and will be shut down from baseball activities. He visited with Dr. James Andrews Thursday afternoon, and the team issued the following statement Thursday night:

“Carl Crawford was examined by the Red Sox medical staff.  He was diagnosed as having a left elbow ulnar collateral ligament sprain.  A conservative treatment protocol was recommended.  Carl was also examined by Dr. James Andrews who was in agreement with the assessment and plan.  Carl received a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection and will be shut down from baseball activity during the initial phase of his treatment.”

Earlier Thursday, ESPN’s Buster Olney Tweeted “Carl Crawford will miss a significant portion of this [year’s] schedule.”

Crawford recovered from his January wrist surgery but developed elbow soreness during the recovery process. He’s had not been cleared to throw, so he went to visit the famous Dr. Andrews for an evaluation.

Crawford, 30, signed a seven-year, $142 million deal with the Red Sox prior to last season, when posted career-lows in batting average (.255) and on-base percentage (.289).Cr


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