BOSTON (CBS) – While the Red Sox have been waiting all season for their injured stars to return, it has finally gotten to the time where they are actually coming back to the big league club.
Jacoby Ellsbury made his way back Friday night after missing three months with a shoulder injury. Carl Crawford is set to return Monday night after battling wrist and elbow injuries since spring training.
Now, closer Andrew Bailey also has his sights set on a return.
Bailey has yet to pitch for the Red Sox since being acquired from the Oakland Athletics in the offseason to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon. On Sunday, Bailey tossed a 20-pitch bullpen session, another step in his return from a torn thumb ligament that required surgery during spring training.
The next step for Bailey will be a bullpen session on Wednesday at Fenway park. He will be re-evaluated and likely throw a simulated game or two before being sent on a rehab assignment. The 28-year-old relieve is confident it won’t take him the 30 days to finally make his Red Sox debut.
“Usually it takes just six or seven games, do a back-to-back,’’ Bailey told ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes on Sunday. “I don’t know how long that takes — a week, a week and a half?’’
While there is still no starting date on Bailey’s rehab assignment, Bailey is itching to get it started after all went well on Sunday.
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“I’ll be ready to go pretty soon. That’s the most frustrating part, when you feel good and you’ve got to go through the process. But I’m feeling good and that’s the most important thing. I just can’t wait to get back,” he said. “I’ve been itching since April 1. All that forearm tightness and stuff is behind me, and I’m looking forward to getting back.’’
Alfredo Aceves assumed the closer role when Bailey went down, and has 20 saves in 24 chances for Boston this season.