Dustin Pedroia expected to return to action Thursday

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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was lifted from Tuesday night’s game against the Marlins after appearing to aggravate the torn abductor muscle in his right thumb. But he’s fine. Or at least willing to play through the pain brought on by a re-injury.

According to Tony Lee of ESPN Boston, Pedroia told reporters that he expects to return to the starting lineup for Thursday’s series-finale with Miami. He was held out of action Wednesday, but management referred to that as a precautionary measure.

Pedroia, 28, is batting .269/.326/.403 with five home runs and 26 RBI in 280 plate appearances this season. One of Major League Baseball’s toughest players, he has made an appearance in 61 of Boston’s 69 games.

The Red Sox entered play Tuesday night with a 34-33 record — ranking tied for last in the AL East.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.