Alex Verdugo day-to-day with hamstring injury, could return this week

Red Sox

Red Sox manager Alex Cora gave a positive update on the hamstring injury Verdugo suffered on Sunday.

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo catches a fly ball during the game he was injured in. Reed Hoffmann/AP Photo

The Boston Red Sox may have avoided another major injury.

Outfielder Alex Verdugo left Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning due to tightness in his left hamstring. As a result, he did not play in Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, nor will he play Tuesday.

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But Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters on Monday that this injury is nothing serious, and hopes Verdugo will return to action soon.

“Maybe Wednesday,” Cora told reporters, per MassLive’s Sean McAdam, “And then hopefully, he can get better throughout the week and be ready for Friday.”

Cora assured reporters that Verdugo was feeling alright and acknowledged the dangers of playing him on the Rays’ artificial turf.

“He’s doing okay,” Cora said. “We’ll take it day-by-day obviously. Playing here [on the artificial turf] doesn’t help, obviously. We’ll see how he responds to treatment.”

Losing Verdugo for any stretch of time hurts the Red Sox, but they’re not strapped for replacement options. Rob Refsnyder is always there to contribute against lefties, and Friday’s roster expansions have allowed them to keep multiple extra outfielders on the major league squad, including top prospect Ceddanne Rafaela and former International League Player of the Week Wilyer Abreu. Abreu even took Verdugo’s leadoff spot in Monday’s game, and Rafaela will do the same on Tuesday.

The Red Sox currently sit 4.5 games out of the AL Wild Card. It will be an uphill battle for them to reach the postseason, but they’re close enough to keep making a genuine postseason push. As time winds down, it’s clear that losing a player as important as Verdugo will make that push harder. But that doesn’t seem like that will happen, and the Red Sox have quality replacements to hold Verdugo’s spot until he returns.