Pedroia surgery is likely

Reevaluation due in about seven days

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / August 27, 2010

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There is a strong likelihood that Dustin Pedroia will end up having season-ending surgery in approximately a week.

The Red Sox second baseman will wear a boot on his foot for about seven days to stabilize the area, according to a statement released by the club yesterday. The Sox then will decide whether to continue with that non-operative course of action or have a screw surgically inserted into the broken foot.

With Pedroia experiencing discomfort after a brief return to the roster, the Sox sought second opinions from two outside doctors, Jonathan Deland and Robert Anderson, over the past couple of days, which led to this course of action.

The news came a day after Terry Francona said that surgery had not been discussed.

“We haven’t talked about that, about surgery,’’ said the manager. “I heard that if he hurt it, early on they kind of told him what could happen, but that’s not been [talked about].’’

The surgery would keep Pedroia out three months, at the most. But the Sox are confident that the critical portion of the offseason and spring training wouldn’t be disrupted, according to a team source. If he does not have surgery, it’s unclear what the timeline would be for a return.

The absence of Pedroia has been a major blow to a team that has been decimated by injuries. He is not only the No. 2 hitter in the lineup, and not only an excellent second baseman, but also the emotional leader of the team. As Pedroia was set to come back two weeks ago, his teammates expressed excitement and relief. But it didn’t last long, and they might not have him again until 2011.

Pedroia first broke the navicular bone June 25, when he fouled a ball off his left foot in a game against the Giants in San Francisco. He went on the disabled list soon thereafter, making enough progress to be reinstated Aug. 17 after playing two games in Triple A on a rehab stint.

But his return was short-lived. Pedroia played in just two games, then was scratched from the lineup Aug. 19. He went back on the disabled list the next day, and beat himself up for stealing a base in the second game after his return, though he also said it was unlikely that that alone was responsible for the pain.

“I’m upset, man,’’ Pedroia said after being put on the DL for the second time. “I feel like I let everybody down. I can’t really do too much. I tried. So hopefully it heals up and I’ll get back in there.’’

He said at the time that he hoped his season wasn’t done, but there’s a good chance that might be the case. Apparently, the foot is continuing to heal and has not been reinjured, but the progress has not come at the pace expected.

When he first fractured the foot, it was announced that Pedroia was likely to take 6-8 weeks to recover. He returned in 7 1/2 weeks.

If Pedroia undergoes surgery, he could be the fourth starter on the team to end his season prematurely. Kevin Youkilis already had surgery to repair a muscle tear in his thumb. Mike Cameron is scheduled to have surgery today on his torn abdominal muscle. That leaves Jacoby Ellsbury, whose season has not officially been declared over, but who is extremely unlikely to return this season from his rib injuries.

The Sox have placed 19 players on the disabled list this season for a total of 24 stints.

Nick Cafardo of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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