David Price diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome after numbness

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (Charles Krupa/AP)

NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox left-hander David Price was diagnosed Wednesday with carpal tunnel syndrome after twice experiencing numbness in his pitching hand this season.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora confirmed the diagnosis prior to a game at Yankee Stadium, which Price was supposed to start.

"For me this is quote-unquote good news compared to anything else," Cora said.

Price was sent back to Boston on Tuesday for tests after experiencing numbness in his pitching hand during a bullpen session Sunday. He was forced from a game April 11 with the same symptoms after allowing four runs in the first inning — the shortest start of his career.

Cora described it as a "mild case of carpal tunnel" and said Price will rejoin the team Thursday. He’ll throw at Yankee Stadium, and then the team will re-evaluate his status.

Cora hasn’t ruled out Price to pitch Saturday’s game at Toronto.

Price is 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA in seven starts during his third season with Boston. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner signed a $217 million, seven-year contract with the Red Sox in December 2015 but has been slowed by injuries the past two years.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an uncommon injury for baseball players. It’s caused by repeated motions, such as typing, and is more common among esports athletes. Price is a longtime video game enthusiast, and this season, Price and teammates have been logging long hours playing Fortnite — Price told The Associated Press last month the game has "kind of taken over."

Cora did not think video games had brought on the syndrome, but he said Fortnite may be discussed when he sits down with Price on Thursday to lay out a recovery plan.

"From what I know, David has been playing video games his whole life," Cora said. "It seems like Fortnite now is the one everybody’s playing, but last year I saw a lot of guys playing FIFA. That’s all I know. There’s a lot of teams playing Fortnite. But we’ll talk about it."

Cora said treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome could include icing or massages.

"We’ll see what works for him," Cora said. "As you guys know, we need him. We need him here. We need him to compete. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish."

Rick Porcello had his start moved up a day to fill in for Price on Wednesday.

NOTES: Touted pitching prospect Jay Groome will have season-ending Tommy John surgery. The left-hander was Boston’s first-round pick out of high school in 2016. He had yet to pitch this season after playing for Class A affiliates Lowell and Greenville last season. … Dustin Pedroia (knee) will play five innings in a game at extended spring training Thursday. Cora is still unsure when Pedroia might be ready to return. … RHP Steven Wright (domestic violence suspension) pitched six innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday. His next appearance will be out of the bullpen.


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