OAKLAND -- Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is expected to begin a two-game rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Saturday. Cora expects Bogaerts to return in time for next weekend's homestand against Tampa Bay and Kansas City.The 25-year-old is expected to play against Toledo on Tuesday
OAKLAND -- Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is expected to begin a two-game rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Saturday. Cora expects Bogaerts to return in time for next weekend's homestand against Tampa Bay and Kansas City.
The 25-year-old is expected to play against Toledo on Tuesday and Wednesday before taking a day off Thursday.
Although Bogaerts had been one of Boston's hottest hitters before his injury, he is more worried about getting comfortable on defense during his rehab assignment, according to Cora.
"He needs the repetitions, more defensively than offensively," Cora said. "For me, it was music to my ears, for him to care about his defense. That's awesome. Good for him."
Bogaerts has been hitting, taking grounders and running the bases during Boston's road trip. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since April 9 after sustaining a small crack in the talus bone in his left ankle while sliding into a dugout chasing an errant throw.
Although Cora had previously suggested that the turf playing surface at the Rogers Centre could be a factor in holding Bogaerts out of the upcoming Toronto series, it ultimately didn't factor into the rehab timeline.
"I think at the end, he was going to play somewhere," Cora said. "It's not the turf. It's more of how he feels."
Bogaerts had been slashing .368/.400/.711 with two homers, seven doubles, nine RBIs and five multi-hit games in the nine games before his injury.
Wright exits first rehab start with back stiffness
Veteran knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is recovering from left knee surgery that he underwent in May, was removed from his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Friday night after experiencing stiffness in his back.
Wright had thrown 61 pitches in 2 2/3 innings against the Gwinnett Stripers. He was slated to throw six innings, with an 80-pitch limit.
"He didn't feel right the whole outing," Cora said. "Most likely, we'll keep him there, for now, in Pawtucket, but hopefully he gets better and he can make his next one."
Cora said that the timetable for Wright's return to the team is "up in the air," and the team will meet him Friday in Boston. The 33-year-old right-hander started the season on the 10-day disabled list following a platelet-rich plasma injection at the site of his surgery.
Wright notched three strikeouts and two walks while allowing three runs (two earned) against Gwinnett on five hits. He exited after allowing a walk and three singles in the third, including a single and a run scored by Ronald Acuna, MLB Pipeline's No. 2 prospect in baseball.
Upon his return, Wright will need to serve a 15-game suspension for a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
Thornburg likely to throw live BP next weekend
Right-hander Tyler Thornburg will leave extended spring training and fly to Boston in time to meet the team for next weekend's homestand. Cora said that there is a "good chance" that Thornburg will throw live batting practice in Boston.
"Let's get him out of Fort Myers," Cora said. "There's a few people in Fort Myers that are going nuts right now. He'll go up there, be around us, and we'll go from there."
Thornburg has not pitched since 2016, when he was with the Brewers. He is recovering from a June 2017 surgery on his right shoulder to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.
Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.