BOSTON (CBS) – Carl Crawford went 2-for-3 for the Pawtucket Red Sox Thursday night, as he opened what could be a brief rehab sting with Boston’s Triple-A affiliate.

Crawford played five innings in Pawtucket, and said he will be back in the Red Sox lineup Monday night when the team begins a four-game series with the White Sox at Fenway Park.

“We’re taking it day by day, but Monday is the day I’m trying to reach,” Crawford said after the game. “That’s the fastest time that we can think of. I want to be out there myself. I know fans want me to be out there. Management wants me to be out there.”

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“I feel the pressure of everyone to try and get out there,” he said. “I’ll try to get as many at bats as possible (this weekend).”

After batting .255 last season, the first of a seven-year, $142 million deal he signed with Boston, Crawford is anxious to get back for the first time this season.

“I feel like the expectations are always going to be high,” said Crawford. “My thing is to play within myself and really don’t worry about anything else.”

The 30-year-old voiced concern of his elbow last week, saying he may need to get Tommy John surgery in the future. On Thursday night, he was happy he was able to do everything in the field, which included making four throws in his five innings.

“I threw the ball today the way I wanted to throw it. I’ve pretty much been able to do the things that I normally do,” he said.

“It never gave me any problems when I’m swinging, so I’m not worried about my elbow at all when I’m at the plate. But the fact I’ll be playing back-to-back games and my body’s feeling well is encouraging,” continued Crawford. “Basically, getting at-bats is a big assignment, and trying to get my timing back.”

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Crawford will play full games for Pawtucket on Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off.

The left fielder has not played a game for Boston this season as he has battled elbow and wrist injuries.


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