Saturday July 07, 2012 | 11:28 AM

When Carl Crawford hit a triple for the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday, it was thought to be a good sign - that Crawford was on his way back during his rehab assignment.

But Crawford also hurt himself on that triple, “tweaking” a groin muscle as he rounded second base. As a result, Crawford’s rehab has been stopped. It is hoped he will re-start his assignment in five days.

“He felt a little twinge,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “He’ll go right back in and hit again soon.”

Crawford’s injury was initially announced as a “mild strain”, but Valentine said it was “not a strain or anything. It is a preventative thing to make sure it does not get any worse.”

Who knows? Crawford could come back to Portland next week.

In other injury/rehab news:

Jacoby Ellsbury is not playing with the Sea Dogs in Trenton (that one was hard to believe from the start), but will be in Pawtucket tonight.

Clay Buchholz, coming back from an illness, will pitch in Pawtucket Sunday. “Maybe 40-50 pitches. Get his spikes on the rubber,” Valentine said. “If all goes well, he’ll be able to pitch in the first series (after the All-Star break).”

Tentative date: next Saturday at Tampa Bay.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was not in the lineup for Game 1 Saturday, and will likely not be in the lineup tonight.

“Probably not,” Valentine said Saturday morning. “He’s running as we speak. He’s close. He hit for almost two innings (Friday) in the cage and felt nothing. With those pulled muscles, I like to give it (another) day when someone thinks they feel fine.”

Valentine said Middlebrooks could pinch-hit. Middlebrooks could also sit out until the Red Sox return from the All-Star break.

“Some of the madness in on DL’ing him was to have him ready coming out of the break,” Valentine said.

Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who played for the Sea Dogs the past two nights, is taking tonight off.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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