Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew can finally make the first step in his recovery from a March 7 concussion. The veteran infielder has been given clearance by Dr. Michael Collins -- a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh -- to resume a small range of "baseball activities," reports Alex Speier of WEEI.
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For now, Drew's baseball action is limited to stretching, the starting of a throwing program, and hitting in a cage. While there is still no set timeframe for Drew's return to actual game situations, manager John Farrell expressed optimism about the infielder's diagnosis:
"He’s improved. I will say it’s not completely cleared, but better than it was three days ago before he left," added Farrell. "Dr. Collins gave him some assurances that it’s not going to be on the long end of the spectrum with recovery."
Drew, 30, will likely sit out for the remainder of Boston's Grapefruit League games -- even if he doesn't experience any setbacks -- so that the club can have the option of backdating his stint on the disabled list. Because Drew suffered a concussion, he will likely go on the league's special seven-day DL to begin the season.
If he proves to be in good health come April 1 and the Red Sox successfully backdate his DL time, Drew could hypothetically miss just the first game of the year due to the way Boston's schedule is arranged. Youngster Jose Iglesias will start at shortstop in place of Drew for the time being, with Pedro Ciriaco waiting in the wings should Iglesias falter.