Victorino hopes to play Friday

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TORONTO — The Red Sox have set an informal deadline of Thursday to decide whether right fielder Shane Victorino will go on the disabled list with a strained lower back. Based on his improvement the last two days, that seems less likely.

Victorino took batting practice in the Rogers Centre cage for the second consecutive day on Wednesday. He is now hopeful of returning to the lineup in Texas on Friday.

The final test would be taking batting practice on the field on Thursday. If Victorino feels good then, he will likely avoid the disabled list.

“I’ve progressed every day,” Victorino said. “Tomorrow we’re going to add to the workload. My goal is if everything goes accordingly, I’d like to play the first game in Texas. That’s obviously how my body reacts and how my body feels. “

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