Injury notes: Youkilis set to return; Matsuzaka suffers setback

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Injury notes: Youkilis set to return; Matsuzaka suffers setback

PHILADELPHIA -- Two Red Sox players with injuries are getting ready to return to action, but a third had a setback and is going to be a while longer.

An update:

Kevin Youkilis - Youkilis (back) will continue his rehab stint with Pawtucket tomorrow, having played four games with them already, including the last three at third base.

The expectation is that Youkilis will then rejoin the Red Sox Tuesday in Baltimore.

"If he feels good after (Monday's) game, I don't see any reason why not," said Bobby Valentine. "But it's on him. If he wants another couple of at-bats or if he needs anything . . ."

Ryan Sweeney - Sweeney, who made a game-saving catch in the seventh inning of Saturday's win, may have suffered a slight concussion in making the catch, as his head hit the warning track, snapping his neck back in the process.

He was held out of Sunday's game, and underwent mandatory testing both Saturday night and again Sunday.

"I'll be alright," said Sweneey. "I think they just wanted me to (be sure). I kind of had some symptoms (Saturday) night. I re-took another concussion test after the game, and it was better than it was."

His neck is still sore, but not something that should get in the way of returning to the lineup.

"Yeah, it's better now," said Sweeney. "I'm just a little sore.

I'll probably have to come in and make sure I can do everything (Monday)."

MLB has a seven-day disabled list for players with concussions, but neither Sweeney nor Sox believe that will be necessary.

Daisuke Matsuzaka - Matsuzaka, who was due to make his next scheduled rehab start Tuesday for Pawtucket, instead has been scratched from that outing after receiving an injection in his right trapezius (upper back) muscle.

"We've got to make sure he's 100 percent," said Valentine.

Matsuzaka's 30-day rehab window was supposed to be up this week, but the Red Sox will likely seek permission for him to go on a seven-day DL while the back improves, then begin a new rehab window.

Such requests must be approved by the commissioner's office.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.