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06/04/08 12:15 AM ET

Crawford expected to start Wednesday

Battling sore right knee, Rays left fielder pinch-hit Tuesday

BOSTON -- Carl Crawford wasn't in the starting lineup on Tuesday night after spending part of his day in Birmingham, Ala., having his right knee examined by team medical director Dr. James Andrews.

"They just said it wasn't really anything major, really, just a little strain on the back of my knee," Crawford said. "Just one of those things you have to play through and hope it stops or either just stop playing at all. And since we're in the middle of things, you don't want to go on the DL. So I'll just play through it."

Crawford did not accompany the team to Boston on Monday. Instead, he hopped on an early-morning flight from Tampa to Birmingham on Tuesday morning and arrived in Boston about 5 p.m. ET.

"He had a little bit of soreness in the lower [hamstring], knee area," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "So we had an MRI done. We couldn't send him to [team orthopedic] Dr. [Koco] Eaton, because he was in Paris, so it was much more difficult for him to see him, so we sent him to Dr. Andrews in Birmingham instead. They pretty much looked at him."

Crawford pinch-hit in the eighth inning and grounded into a fielder's choice before finishing out the night in left field. Maddon said he plans on being "a little cautious" with Crawford until the soreness subsides, but he is scheduled to be in the lineup Wednesday night against the Red Sox.

Crawford said he started to feel pain at the beginning of the team's recent 10-game homestand, which he attributed to Tropicana Field's artificial surface.

"The turf, just have to find ways to get around that, it's no secret," Crawford said.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.