FORT MYERS, Fla – Will Middlebrooks was cleared to play by a specialist Thursday before participating in batting practice, and was tentatively expected to resume play on Friday night.
Middlebrooks left Wednesday’s game when he took an awkward swing at a fastball in the first inning and felt a sharp pain in his right wrist, the same wrist that was broken last August when he was hit by a pitch.
Dr. Tom Holovacs, a hand specialist, examined Middlebrooks and did not order any X-rays or further tests.
“There was nothing structural that was revealed in the physical testing that he went through,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Had there been any kind of discomfort, we certainly would have taken him for imaging. But at this point that wasn’t recommended by the doctor.”
Farrell said Middlebrooks was cleared for all baseball activity. He added that doctors haven’t pinpointed any particular reason for the jolt of pain. It could have simply been the unusual swing.
Earlier in the day, Middlebrooks continued to say he was fine and that he had not been told there was anything structurally wrong with the right wrist.
Wednesday marked was the first time, Middlebrooks said, that he had checked his swing so abruptly and the feeling was initially that he might have jarred some scar tissue.
“It scared me. Awkward feeling. Awkward movement of the wrist,” Middlebrooks said Thursday morning. “Initial zing of pain and that was it.”
Middlebrooks was fitted for a new batting glove that would protect the outside of the wrist.
“I had soreness this offseason, but not hurt,” Middlebrooks said.
He saw the video of the check swing Thursday morning and said, “It didn’t look good. Just freaked me out. It was the first time I’d really checked my swing like that and I was kind of caught in between. Wasn’t a normal check-swing.”