BOSTON (CBS) – Carl Crawford is set to begin a brief rehab assignment with the Pawtucket Red Sox Thursday night.
If all goes well, Crawford could play in his first Major League game of the season Monday when the Red Sox open a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park.
Crawford has played in eight rehab games so far, with both the Gulf Coast Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs, going 7-for-24 with a triple, RBI and seven walks.
The 30-year-old has been sidelined since the end of Spring Training, when he injured his elbow while trying to come back from a wrist injury. He has also had hamstring and groin issues along the way, but looks poised to rejoin the team that signed him to a seven-year, $142 million deal prior to last season.
Crawford hit .255 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI in 130 games in 2011. The left fielder is a career .293 hitter.
He joins Pawtucket just as Jacoby Ellsbury departs. Ellsbury, who has played in just seven games this season, is set to rejoin the Red Sox Friday when they open a three-game set against the Rays in Tampa.