It appears that Shane Victorino may avoid the disabled list.

Victorino hasn’t played since leaving last Wednesday’s game with recurring tightness in his lower back, but before the Red Sox left yesterday for a six-game road trip that starts tonight in Toronto, manager John Farrell said the right fielder is “gradually improving” and the team is hopeful he will play “at some point in the series.”

If the Sox doubt Victorino can play this week, they could put him on the 15-day disabled list and recall Jackie Bradley Jr. from Triple-A Pawtucket. Although the move could be made retroactive to April 26, Victorino still wouldn’t be eligible to be reinstated until May 10.

Thus far, the Sox believe he will be ready before then, so they are willing to play with a short bench for another few games.

“In talking with (general manager) Ben (Cherington), when you start to get into more than half of what the 15-day DL period would be, then you’ve got to look at making a decision on a roster,” Farrell said.

“We’re still a few days away from that.”

Victorino tweaked his back on a bunt in an April 20 game against the Royals. He missed a doubleheader April 21, then returned for three games before leaving last Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning.