DENVER — His name was written in pen on a sign over his locker. His Boston jerseys neatly dangled inside on hangers.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was back with the Red Sox – if only for a quick visit. He hobbled through the clubhouse Tuesday on crutches, his surgically repaired left knee on the mend.

Pedroia really doesn’t think about hitting so much these days as simply not hurting. He’s hoping the latest surgery on his troublesome knee allows him to throw batting practice with his kids pain-free one day. That’s really the extent of the plans for the 36-year-old Pedroia, who has been limited to nine games over the past two seasons.

Still, he wanted to drop by just to chat with his teammates as they opened a two-game interleague series at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. Earlier this month, doctors removed bone spurs and performed a knee joint preservation procedure in Vail, Colorado.

Taking the field again? For now, that’s down the priority list.

“It would be nice to not hurt first,” said Pedroia, who has fond memories of Coors Field given that’s where the Red Sox clinched the 2007 World Series. “One step at a time. Hopefully, it works out.”

Pedroia has been watching his teammates on television and checking in with them through texts. But there’s nothing like catching up in person.

“It’s good to have him back, have him around. Everybody in here has missed him greatly,” left-hander David Price said. “He’s left everything he’s had out there on that baseball field for the Boston Red Sox. To see him right now, it’s tough. But he tells me he’s on the right path to getting better.

“Whether or not he plays baseball again, he’s held in very high regard with everybody in this clubhouse.”

Pedroia’s voice has been missed in the clubhouse for the defending World Series champions, who entered the day six back for the final AL wild-card spot.

“He’s good to have around,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said. “He’s part of this team regardless of where he is.”

Pedroia said he will be on crutches for another two weeks. After that, he begins a 12-week program to strengthen his quadriceps and calf. Only then will he get an idea if baseball is in his future.

“Everyone knows how I love playing and being here and everything,” said Pedroia, a lifetime .299 hitter for a franchise that picked him in the second round of the 2004 draft. “So I just try to lean on the guys and my family to get me through the tough times. I’m lucky to have all of them.”

ROYALS: Two people familiar with the situation have told the Associated Press that the team’s ownership is open to the possibility of selling the franchise if the right buyer is found. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sale.

The Athletic reported Tuesday that team owner David Glass was in discussions with a group led by Kansas City native and Cleveland Indians vice chairman John Sherman. But the depth of those discussions is unclear, and one person told the AP that the club has been open to offers for some time.

INDIANS: Third baseman Jose Ramirez has not been ruled out for the postseason – if Cleveland can make it without him – despite a broken hand.

Ramirez had surgery Monday in New York on the broken hamate bone in his right hand, an injury suffered during a hard swing during a weekend game. The team said the two-time All-Star could return in five to seven weeks, which would be the beginning of October.

YANKEES: Right-hander Luis Severino, coming back from a lat muscle injury, threw a second simulated game and is likely to start a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton on Sunday.

CUBS: Anthony Rizzo remained out of the lineup Tuesday because of tightness in his back.

MARINERS: Right fielder Keon Broxton was suspended for two games by Major League Baseball for throwing equipment on the field that hit an umpire after striking out looking Monday night.

DODGERS: Third baseman Justin Turner was suspended for one game for making contact with an umpire after striking out looking to end Monday night’s game.

DIAMONDBACKS: Left fielder David Peralta has decided to undergo season-ending right shoulder surgery after landing on the injured list for a third time this season and regularly trying to play through pain. Peralta, who hadn’t played since Aug. 23, is scheduled to undergo a cleanup procedure Friday for inflammation in the AC joint.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE: Venezuelan officials say they’re fighting a ban by MLB that blocks its players from the country’s winter league under strict U.S. sanctions against the socialist government.

The Venezuelan Professional Baseball League said it’s asking the U.S. Treasury for an exception. MLB announced last week that its players are banned from the Venezuelan Winter League, citing the economic sanctions. Eight teams in the Venezuelan league say MLB’s ban was made against their interests and the nation’s passion for baseball.

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