Drew to return Thursday, Youkilis on Friday

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
4:51
PM ET
BOSTON -- Outfielder J.D. Drew, who has been on the disabled list since July 26 (retroactive to July 20) with a left shoulder impingement, is expected to rejoin the Red Sox on Thursday, after playing two games this week for Triple-A Pawtucket, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Tuesday.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis also is scheduled to play for Pawtucket on Tuesday and Wednesday, Francona said, and will be re-activated Friday, the first day he is eligible to come off the 15-day DL, which he was placed on Aug. 18 with a lower back strain.

Friday is also the day rosters can be expanded with other players off the team's 40-man roster. Francona said the team expects to add a pitcher -- Felix Doubront or Kyle Weiland figure to be strong candidates. "But other than that,'' he said, "we'll almost take it day by day.''

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway also will be added, but since the Sox optioned him back to Pawtucket last Friday, he's not eligible to return until Sept. 5, Francona said.

The Sox have gone 8-3 without cleanup hitter Youkilis, as Dustin Pedroia has batted .341 with a home run and OPS of .913 in the 4-spot over that span.

Drew has missed 38 games to date, the Sox going 24-14 without him. Rookie Josh Reddick has received the majority of playing time in his absence, coming into Tuesday's game with a .283 average and 6 home runs. Reddick has struggled at the plate this month. In 21 games since his last multi-hit game Aug. 5 against the Yankees in Fenway Park, Reddick is batting just .140 (8 for 57) with a .197 on-base average and .246 slugging percentage.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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