Pedroia tentatively set to make spring debut on Thursday vs. Twins on ESPN

John Tomase
March 05, 2019 - 2:30 pm

Dustin Pedroia is one step closer to make his spring training debut, with a target date of Thursday on national TV.

Manager Alex Cora told reporters on Tuesday he hopes Pedroia will be able to play against the Twins in Fort Myers in a game that will be broadcast by ESPN.

"Most likely Thursday," Cora said. "I texted with him today and he said he feels good. We'll see how the medical department feels. If he's OK today we'll most likely (go) Thursday."

Pedroia is returning from cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee that cost him all but three games last year. The goal is to build Pedroia towards seven innings so he'll be ready for opening day in Seattle.

"We have to build him up to seven," he said. "We don't play nine down here. You run a marathon, you don't run the whole thing before you get there. So seven innings, but we'll take it step by step. Like any player, we get information and we go from there. He has to play back to back games and have an off day. We'll determine that. For everything we've been gathering where he's at, Thursday or Friday is a good start. It's not going to be too much, just the first game of spring training. We'll start with that."

The Red Sox had considered holding Pedroia out until Friday, but Cora doesn't want him debuting on the road in Sarasota where, "we don't have the doctors and the facility and all that."

Cora termed Pedroia's workout on Monday "an another checkmark in his process" because he increased his workload and thus far his leg appears to be responding well.

"The way the texts sounded," Cora said, "he's ready to play nine."

(WEEI.com's Rob Bradford contributed to this report from West Palm Beach)

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