Chris Wilcox

Backup center Chris Wilcox is unsure when he will return from a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb and he will be reexamined next week. Wilcox has been wearing a brace on his hand since sustaining the injury Dec. 18 at Chicago.

He said doctors have informed him he will not need surgery.

“The doc told me I need to take some time off. I gotta let it heal; it’ll be a while,” he said. “Yesterday I got good news; they told me I didn’t have to have the surgery. Now I’m just trying to see what I’m comfortable with.”

Wilcox, who last season underwent surgery to repair an enlarged aorta, said he considers this injury a minor setback.

“It’s been tough for me,” he said. “But this is minor compared to what’s happened to me in the past. Anything other than that is nothing.”

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe