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Red Sox hopeful for Pedroia's return on Friday

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BALTIMORE -- Dustin Pedroia's sprained left wrist is improving by the day, and the Red Sox feel he is on track to return as soon as he is eligible -- on Friday night at Fenway Park against the Tigers.

"Very good," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "A lot of the discoloration, the swelling, continues to improve. He put a bat in his hand today and took some dry swings. We're hopeful and encouraged by what the last three days have been for him with the response to treatment. We project that his first day eligible, he'd be ready to go. The last 48 hours, there's been really good improvement with the condition of his hand and wrist."

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BALTIMORE -- Dustin Pedroia's sprained left wrist is improving by the day, and the Red Sox feel he is on track to return as soon as he is eligible -- on Friday night at Fenway Park against the Tigers.

"Very good," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "A lot of the discoloration, the swelling, continues to improve. He put a bat in his hand today and took some dry swings. We're hopeful and encouraged by what the last three days have been for him with the response to treatment. We project that his first day eligible, he'd be ready to go. The last 48 hours, there's been really good improvement with the condition of his hand and wrist."

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Pedroia injured his wrist on a fluke play in Chicago five days ago when he collided with White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu while running out a grounder, and landed on his wrist.

"We're just starting to initiate some of the baseball activity," said Farrell. "Getting the bat back in his hand was probably the priority, just to see how that was going to respond. He felt good just coming out of the limited work here today."

The hope is that Pedroia will spend the upcoming three-game series in New York from Tuesday through Thursday taking batting practice and having a full initiation of baseball activities.

Josh Rutledge, who has been filling in for Pedroia, was scratched 45 minutes before the first pitch Saturday due to dehydration. Deven Marrero replaced him in the lineup.

Worth noting

• The Red Sox have been without setup man Matt Barnes the last two days because the right-hander had to tend to a personal matter. Farrell said Barnes is expected to rejoin the team for Sunday's game.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox