BOSTON – Second baseman Dustin Pedroia returned to the disabled list Friday with soreness in the foot he broke in late June, a difficult blow for the Boston Red Sox as they try to reach the postseason.

Pedroia spent seven weeks on the DL after he fouled a ball off his left foot June 25 at San Francisco. He played in two minor- league rehab games last weekend, showing no signs of problems.

But Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP, experienced significant pain after going 1 for 3 in Boston’s 7-5 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night and was scratched from Thursday’s lineup.

“Today it’s hurting when I walk,” Pedroia said before Friday night’s game against Toronto. “So I guess the best thing to do is not do anything and let it heal.

“After the second day it was pretty much impossible to keep playing. I have to let it heal. It’s not fun.”

Pedroia said he wasn’t sure if the latest setback would end his season.

“I’ve seen so many doctors,” he said. “I’m kind of seeing everybody. I hope not.”

Infielder Yamaico Navarro, who started the season with the Portland Sea Dogs, was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Pedroia’s spot on the roster.

Pedroia was urged to be upfront with the team and its medical director, Thomas Gill, while his left foot is recovering.

“He woke up and he was pretty tender so we sent him over to see (Gill) to have a scan,” Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. “And while it showed really good healing, it also showed there’s some healing to go. In layman’s terms, they tried to impress upon him a lot that if it hurt, you better tell us because otherwise you’re going to hurt yourself more.

“We appreciate him trying to play because he’s really good. At the same time, and I know it’s hard for good players to be honest, but if he goes out there and hurts it, then we’re looking at something we don’t want to look at, and that’s a surgery and things like that.”

Pedroia and Francona said there was no additional damage found with the injury.

“I knew it was going to be a chance, if I came back and played and it didn’t do well, I would be out,” Pedroia said. “I knew that. They told me that.

“It just (was sad) that it happened. I figured I would play a couple days and if I would be sore I would have a day or two off and be fine. But that’s really not the way it’s working out right now.”

Pedroia said he understands the reason for the cautious approach, considering what could happen if the bone that’s healing now breaks.

“Whenever they clear me, I’m going to go,” Pedroia said. “Since it was getting worse, risk comes back. If a break happens, it’s a big surgery. I have to make sure I’m OK.”


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