Red Sox expect Turner back for Opening Day after pitch to head

Red Sox expect Turner back for Opening Day after pitch to head

Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora expects his new third baseman, Justin Turnerback before Opening Day after a scary scene when the former Dodger was hit in the face by a pitch during a spring training game last week.

“Just a little more [recovery time] and take it day by day,” Cora told reporters on Sunday. “We have a lot of time. The hope is that we will be with him soon and we will shoot for that. He was in a good mood. We text [Thursday] night and he felt better. So far, so good.”

Turner, 38, spoke about the incident for the first time Sunday after getting 16 stitches in his mouth. He was hit by a fastball from Detroit TigersMatt Manning and was taken to a local hospital after walking off the field with a towel over his mouth due to profuse bleeding.

“I’ve been pretty lucky, all things considered,” Turner said. “Every day, I’m getting a little better. I actually got the last stitch out today and started doing some baseball activities, so that’s encouraging.”

Turner signed a free agent contract with the Red Sox this past offseason after spending nine seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers and helping the club win the World Series in 2020.

In 14 major league seasons with the Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets, Turner batted .289 with an .832 OPS, 164 home runs and 663 RBIs. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2017 and 2021, while also being honored as the NL Championship Series MVP in 2017.