NEW YORK -- Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is confident that rest and rehab will be all that it takes for his ailing right knee to improve and surgery isn't even on his mind.Rodriguez rejoined his teammates at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, a day after he got a second opinion
NEW YORK -- Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is confident that rest and rehab will be all that it takes for his ailing right knee to improve and surgery isn't even on his mind.
Rodriguez rejoined his teammates at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, a day after he got a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Florida.
"It was good news, because I don't need to get surgery," Rodriguez said. "I just need to rest a little to get the knee stronger. I'm not thinking about surgery. If you're thinking about surgery, your mind isn't where it needs to be."
Meanwhile, left-hander Christopher Johnson is making strong progress from a right hamstring injury that knocked him out of his last start for Triple-A Pawtucket, and he is still a candidate to replace Rodriguez in the rotation, starting with Friday's game at Fenway Park against the Tigers.
"He threw his bullpen today in Pawtucket," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I think it was a 33-pitch pen and he came out of it feeling good physically. Still no determination on Friday's starter, but an encouraging day for him there. [Bob Kipper], Pawtucket's pitching coach, mentioned there were no restrictions from a delivery standpoint, pitch execution, so a positive day for him."
Johnson has won both of his starts for the Red Sox this season, including a shutout against the Mariners on May 27.
As for Rodriguez, this is the third time in the last 16 months he has suffered a right knee subluxation. But he feels his body is better equipped to recover from the injury this time.
"[Dr. Andrews] just said to rest your knee, get your knee ready and take your time to get back, make it stronger, and that's it," Rodriguez said.
The Red Sox will work closely with Rodriguez to make sure his knee is fully ready by the time he climbs back on a mound.
"After the exam yesterday with Dr. Andrews, he's in an active rest and rehab phase right now," said Farrell. "There's going to be no mound work currently. I would suspect in the coming days he'll have the ball back in his hand and continue to throw on flat ground until he's ready to get back on the mound. As far as the mound goes, that's going to be as he passes certain physical tests that will be mapped out along the way here."
Rodriguez could be on the disabled list for three to four weeks, a source told MLB.com on Monday, but his return will be based on symptoms rather than a timetable.
"That happened to me three times already. I know how it's going to be. I'm just going to take my time to get the knee stronger," Rodriguez said.
Before the injury, Rodriguez was having a strong season, going 4-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 11 starts.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.