Lowell named AL Player of the Week
Red Sox third baseman rebounded from offseason hip surgery
CLEVELAND -- Third baseman Mike Lowell might as well have been satisfied just coming into the 2009 season and being able to take the field.
After all, Lowell had offseason surgery on his right hip, an injury that threatened to slow his return, if it didn't necessarily threaten his Major League career.
But he proved to the Red Sox, to their fans and to everybody else in baseball that he's just fine, earning the American League Player of the Week presented by Bank of America.
"I heard that," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of the honor Monday before the ballgame with the Indians. "He worked; it's not a fluke."
Francona praised the consistency he's seen in Lowell, which the numbers he produced for the week ending Sunday proved. He hit .435 (10-for-23) with an AL-best 11 RBIs.
Lowell, a four-time All-Star, was flattered by the honor.
"I mean, I don't think you shoot for Player of the Week," he said. "I was just shooting for just being able to feel like I could play every day and just concentrate on baseball."
Not too long ago, Lowell -- and maybe even the Red Sox -- didn't know for certain where his concentration might be. Like any ballplayer coming off surgery, he had to get back into playing shape. That's no easy task, no matter now veteran a player is.
Certainly, Lowell didn't know how much pain he'd feel in his hip or how limiting his recovering from the surgery might be. While he's not at 100 percent, he's getting closer to it each day as he follows the training staff's advice toward full a recovery.
"I don't know if it's called rehab," Lowell said, smiling. "Prehab maybe."
Regardless of what it's called, Lowell has been a central contributor for the Red Sox, who go into their game at Progressive Field with a 10-game winning streak in tow. In capturing the award, Lowell, who leads the Majors with 22 RBIs, beat out teammates Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz.
Others who earned consideration for the award included Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson.
For winning the award, Lowell will get a Tourneau timepiece, engraved in recognition of his achievement as the AL Player of the Week presented by Bank of America.
"I think this is a nice ornament, so to speak," he said. "But I'm a lot more satisfied with the process that's been going on -- being able to be ready every day."
Justice B. Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.