BOSTON — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia likely will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment Thursday at Hadlock Field, joining the Portland Sea Dogs to test his balky, surgically repaired left knee that caused him to miss all but three games last season.

Pedroia, 35, started this season on the injured list and played in six games before leaving an April 17 game at Yankee Stadium after feeling something “pop” while running down the first-base line. Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP, is batting .100 with two singles in 20 at-bats.

“He hasn’t played in a while. He needs at-bats. He needs to play,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said Sunday. “We’ll go over the program and see where we’re at.”

Cora wasn’t definitive, saying “most likely” that Pedroia was starting the assignment.

“The player has input on this,” Cora said. “I know sometimes it feels like we’re cutting them short or whatever, but it’s just the way it goes nowadays. We do our best to let them know how we feel about it, what we’d like to do. It’s not like they go over the program or the team. But if they feel they’re fine, that’s within the rules.”

After being checked by doctors following the game against the Yankees, it was projected the injury list stay would be short term.

“He’s a lot better,” Cora said. “You talk ‘pop’ and ‘knee,’ you don’t feel comfortable with it. He feels good. He’s moving well.”

NATIONALS: First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was put on the 10-day injured list because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

WHITE SOX: Rookie Eloy Jimenez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a high right ankle sprain.

METS: Robinson Cano was pulled from the game against Milwaukee after being hit by a pitch on his left hand while failing to check his swing. X-rays were negative.

BREWERS: Left fielder Ryan Braun jumped at the wall for Pete Alonso’s drive in the first inning as a New York Mets fan reached down and appeared to try to catch the ball in his beer cup. Both came up empty, and the fan’s beer spilled and splashed right onto Braun’s hat. The ball caromed off the top of the wall and Alonso lugged his way to a triple. Braun was left shaking foam off the bill of his cap while center fielder Lorenzo Cain laughed.

BRAVES-ATHLETICS: Atlanta acquired left-hander Jerry Blevins from Oakland for $1.

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