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09/24/08 8:35 PM ET

Crawford eager to take next step

Left fielder's optimism tampered by doctor's recovery timetable

BALTIMORE -- Carl Crawford is filled with optimism and eagerness. Unfortunately for the Rays' injured left fielder, his doctor's aren't exactly jumping on the optimistic train with him.

Crawford, who hit off a tee again on Wednesday, still insists that he feels physically ready to take the next step and take batting practice in an effort to get himself back to the active roster quickly. Crawford has been on the disabled list since Aug. 10, recuperating from surgery to repair the subluxation of his right middle finger tendon.

The doctor who performed the surgery in Arizona, Dr. Donald Sheridan, isn't so convinced of Crawford's progress. Crawford said Sheridan is sticking to the eight-week timetable he originally gave the speedy outfielder despite Crawford's best efforts to convince the doctor otherwise.

"Right now, the doctor is still saying eight weeks is when he wants me to do stuff," Crawford said on Wednesday. "So we have to convince him. It's looking like it's pretty tough to convince him right now."

The injury was located at the base of the middle finger at the joint connecting the finger to the hand. The tendon used to straighten the finger came out of its groove, causing the finger to lock into position when he bent it downward.

Crawford was tentatively scheduled to take batting practice sometime this week, but said that those plans have also been nixed by Sheridan, calling into question the possibility of Crawford being ready to go by the first round of the playoffs.

"I feel good," he said, acknowledging disappointment at the fact that he may have to miss the first round of the playoffs. "I feel like I could play a game today if I had to but I'm just kind of put on hold right now. ... When I can do stuff, there's no need to have me sitting around, and I don't want to sit around, so it's just frustrating sitting around when you can do things."

All of Crawford's eagerness, though, is still a positive and the fact that the outfielder feels physically able to compete may still speed up his rehabilitation process.

"From my perspective, I have no say in this one whatsoever," said manager Joe Maddon. "This is all medicine and healing process and so I'm just going to wait and be told what the right thing to do is. I love the idea that Carl wants to get involved and feels like he can, but I just don't have an answer yet. We've still got to consult more thoroughly with the doctors."

Amanda Comak is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.