Boston Red Sox: Carl Crawford to Have Season-Ending Tommy John Surgery Thursday

Mack RosenbergContributor IIIAugust 20, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 12: Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI double to center during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 12, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Carl Crawford has played his last game of 2012.

Crawford, who underwent wrist surgery in January and played just 31 games this year, will have season-ending Tommy John surgery Thursday to repair a left elbow ligament tear.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine denied any reports of Crawford's deteriorating health in New York over the weekend. Valentine insisted there was nothing wrong with Crawford, and GM Ben Cherington denied that a decision had been made.

Now, sources are telling ESPN that Crawford will indeed have the surgery Thursday and miss the rest of the year.

He had been playing pretty well to this point, batting .282 with a .479 OBP in 117 at-bats.

The blow comes to a Red Sox team already so decimated by injuries this year that I don't see it being that much of a factor in the remainder of the season. However, Valentine is a confident man and probably still believes this team can fight.

They certainly can fight, but with the level of competition in the AL East this high this late in the year, it's going to be awfully difficult.

It's Crawford's second year in Boston, after a first season where he vastly under produced, batting .255 with only 18 stolen bases. He also struck out over 100 times for just the fourth time in his career. 

He actually thought about having Tommy John surgery before coming back, and now that thought is a reality.