It hardly seems possible, but Carl Crawford's second season with the Red Sox is shaping up even worse than his first.

Crawford had his sore left elbow checked today by well-regarded orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, and the diagnosis was mixed. According to a statement released by the team, the left fielder isn't expected to need surgery but has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.

Andrews concurred with the initial recommendation of conservative treatment, including a platelet rich plasma injection. Crawford will be shut down from baseball activities during the initial phase of the treatment.

The Red Sox haven't outlined a timetable for Crawford's return. Reached by text message tonight, Crawford said he doesn't expect to miss three months, as had been speculated in an earlier report.