SEATTLE – Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is hitting indoors and taking grounders outside, the next steps to returning to the Boston Red Sox from a broken left foot.

Pedroia, who’s been out since June 26, played catch on the field without his walking boot hours before Boston welcomed recuperated right-hander Josh Beckett back to its rotation Friday night against Seattle.

Manager Terry Francona said the Red Sox hope to have Pedroia looked at by a doctor in southern California early next week during a series at the Los Angeles Angels.

Boston’s doctors want to examine Pedroia when the team returns home Thursday before deciding whether to accelerate his recovery plan.

“They keep saying he’s unique. Maybe he is,” Francona said of Pedroia’s healing powers.

Pedroia is hitting .292 in 73 games.

Catcher Victor Martinez, who has been on the disabled list since June 28 with a fractured left thumb, is scheduled to catch today’s bullpen session of Clay Buccholz, who returned from the disabled list this week following a strained hamstring.

Martinez has caught knuckleballer Tim Wakefield with the injured thumb, which is broken at the tip. If he’s able to handle Buccholz’s increased velocity with the padded glove the team has rigged for him, Martinez could return soon.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who has played in only nine games because of broken ribs, was forced to hit inside because of rain Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., while working out with Boston’s rookie-league team there. He may start a minor-league rehabilitation assignment next week.

And third baseman Mike Lowell joined Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday on his way back from a strained right hip that’s had him out since June 23. He’s playing a four-game series at Columbus this weekend. Francona said Lowell is scheduled to stay with Pawtucket through another four-game set next week at Toledo. The Red Sox hope Lowell can play in six of the eight games at Triple-A before he might return.