Gonzalez (calf) hopes to return Thursday

September, 14, 2011
9/14/11
5:22
PM ET
BOSTON – Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was removed from Wednesday’s game in the top of the seventh inning because of tightness in his left calf, but the team does not think it will be a lingering problem.

Gonzalez said he believes he’ll be able to play when the Sox begin a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

“I hope so,” he said after the team’s 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. “The calf tightened up on me pretty good and hopefully I’ll come in tomorrow feeling good.”

Gonzalez first felt the discomfort after his at-bat in the third inning when he grounded out to second base. He remained in the game, but after he collected his 26th homer of the season with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, his calf got worse as he was rounding the bases.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Gonzalez wanted to stay in the game, but the club thought it best to remove him.

“They didn’t want me to keep going out there and making it worse,” Gonzalez said. “Rather play it safe than sorry, I guess.”

Fellow Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has missed the last two games due to a sore back, and if he does not return to the lineup on Thursday, it’s possible Gonzalez could serve as the club’s DH.

“It’s a possibility, but we’ll see what the options are,” Gonzalez said.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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