Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy,

Dustin Pedroia’s long road back to the big leagues will continue next week as he embarks on a rehab assignment.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters Sunday that Pedroia will report to Single-A Greenville for opening day in the minor leagues on Thursday.

This marks the latest step for Pedroia in his attempt to return from knee surgery that has sidelined him for all but three games since the end of the 2017 season.

The second baseman played 8 innings in extended spring training on Sunday and plans to play a full nine innings on Tuesday in Florida before reporting to Greenville.

It is unclear at this point where the Red Sox envision Pedroia playing after he sees action in Greenville, but it has been suggested that the team and Pedroia could be targeting opening day at Fenway Park on April 9 for his return to the majors, if all goes well.

Pedroia claimed he was ready to join the Red Sox for opening day and said the organization made the decision to hold him back out of an abundance of caution.

“It’s just they’re scared,” Pedroia said. “No one has ever come back from something like this. They want me to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone is 100 percent confident that when I come back, I come back and stay back and not have any issues.”

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.