FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -Kevin Youkilis could rejoin the Red Sox lineup on Monday after giving his sprained left ankle more time to heal. J.D. Drew could need more time to get back on the field after bruising a hand when getting hit by a pitch.

Youkilis returned to the Red Sox on Wednesday from the World Baseball Classic with a mild sprain and mild Achilles tendinitis in his left foot. The first baseman had been wearing a hard plastic boot, then was examined Saturday by team physician Dr. Peter Asnis and took batting practice while wearing running shoes.

“He can maybe get a couple of at-bats on Monday,” manager Terry Francona before his team’s game against the Marlins in Jupiter. “We certainly don’t want this to linger.”

Youkilis said the foot is better and that batting practice did not bother him.

“It felt good,” he said. “It felt awkward just for the fact that I’ve been wearing a boot for two days. So the feeling of not having a boot on was weird. So other than that, I think it was more just the normal feeling of putting a shoe on again, and just walking around. But nothing bad. We’ll test it out tomorrow, taking ground balls and all that.

“There’s no pain right now because I haven’t really ran hard on it or anything like that,” he said. “But hopefully just staying off of it for a couple of days will bring it back. I think it’ll be fine. I think I just need to rest it. We know how to strengthen the spots that were weak, and it’ll be fine. Just ready to go out and play some ball now. If I could play tomorrow, I’d love to. But, I don’t think they’ll let me. They’ll probably want me to play and have a day off and then play again. As long as it doesn’t hurt, that’s all that matters.”

Drew did not participate in an on-field workout Saturday, a day after he was hit on the right hand by a Donnie Veal pitch. X-rays Friday were negative.

“Just kind of hang out until it feels well enough to start swinging and stuff,” Drew said. “It feels pretty good, just stiff and sore from the bruise. But fortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s broke or anything. Hopefully, I don’t have any issues when I start coming back to swing.”

Francona said the team will proceed cautiously.

“It will be completely day to day on how he feels and how quickly the bruise doesn’t feel bruised,” the manager said.

Drew broke that hand when hit by a David Wells pitch in June 200.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time. He got me pretty good,” Drew said. “I don’t want to pick up the bat and start swinging and continue to irritate it to where we can’t make strides in the right direction. It’s not going to do me a whole lot of good to try to go out there and hit with a sore hand, anyway.”

Drew received cortisone shots in his back in Boston on March 2 and has appeared in just nine Grapefruit League games this spring training.

“With a couple weeks left, got plenty of time to get over this,” he said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.