NEW YORK — Carl Crawford was out of Boston’s starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees and said his balky elbow may need ligament-replacement surgery.

After missing the first half of the season because of left wrist and elbow injuries, Crawford returned July 16.

Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said the team’s medical staff had told him not to start Crawford more than four days in a row.

Crawford appeared in six straight games when he returned,

“I did a manager no-no thing and went against what I was told to do. Never to be done again,” Valentine said. “I kind of did the old veto power.”

In the second season of a $142 million, seven-year contract, Crawford is batting .222 (8 for 37) with one homer and two RBI – connecting for a solo homer as last-place Boston lost Friday’s series opener 10-3. Valentine said he hopes Crawford will be able to build up endurance so that the restriction can end.

Crawford anticipates he will need elbow surgery at some point.

“I figure one day it’ll blow out, and when that happens, time to go,” he told Boston reporters. “The later I wait to get it done, the more time I’m going to miss. I guess you guys can do the calculation on that and see how that works. I definitely know that at some point of my career I can’t keep playing with this ligament in my elbow like that.”

Daniel Nava replaced him in left field. Crawford is a career .319 hitter against CC Sabathia, the Yankees’ starting pitcher on Saturday.

NOTES: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, on the disabled list because of a stiff neck, is to make a rehabilitation start Monday at Triple-A Pawtucket. … RHP Scott Atchison (on DL because right forearm strain) allowed three runs and three hits in an inning during a rehab appearance for Pawtucket at Indianapolis on Friday night and felt sore Saturday. Valentine said he likely will have an MRI. … RHP Andrew Bailey, on the 60-day DL following right thumb surgery, will make a rehab outing Monday in the Gulf Coast League. Valentine said he anticipates Bailey will need about eight rehab appearances.

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