MRI shows no biceps tear for Lackey

MRI shows no biceps tear for Lackey
April 8, 2013, 3:00 pm
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox are still in a "wait-and-see" mode when it comes to John Lackey, who left his first start in almost 18 months in the middle of an at-bat Saturday with a strained biceps.
Lackey was examined Sunday by team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis, and an MRI was performed, which revealed some inflammation in the biceps, but according to manager John Farrell, no tear.
"He's improved," said Farrell. "He's still in a 48- to 72-hour recovery period. There's no roster move of any kind right now. The most encouraging thing is, following the MRI, it showed some inflammation in the biceps -- that's been it. So he's set for a re-exam today, and after we get that information we'll map out a plan of attack going forward."
A team source said a DL trip for Lackey "could go either way at this point."
Lackey's turn is set to come up as soon as Friday, but there's no way he'll be ready to make that start, since the Red Sox want him to throw a side session to evaluate him before committing to his next appearance.
There are currently two scenarios for the rotation: Taking advantage of Tuesday's scheduled off-day, the Sox could have No. 1 starter Jon Lester start on regular rest Friday, with a fifth starter (likely Alfreco Aceves) needed for Sunday; the other would be for the Sox to give Lester (and those who follow him) an extra day with the Tuesday break, then start Aceves in Lackey's spot.
Either way, the Sox will be cautious with Lackey.
"Any time a pitcher, regardless of what they've come through, walks off the mound in the middle of an inning," said Farrell, "we're going to do what's in the best interest of him and not risk anything health-wise. Before he gets back on the mound we'll have to put him through a good test of some sort. Whether that's an extended bullpen a sim game, that will be taken into account."
If a period of rest -- rather than clearance for a side session -- is recommended later Monday, the Sox would likely have to think about placing Lackey on the DL, since he would need additional time to build up arm strength.
"With the amount of time needed to get back up to speed," said Farrell, "we start getting into that nine, ten days, then we have to consider all things. But until we get to that point we're kind of staying as we are."
"We've still got some time here before we settle on our approach."
The Sox were relieved that no tear has been detected, and for, are treating this setback as minor, and perhaps, given what Lackey underwent with Tommy John surgery, not totally unexpected.
"A couple of days ago," pointed out Farrell, "was the first time he's pitched with that kind of intensity in probably two years, and it's not uncommon that you're going to feel some soreness. Certainly this was a little bit different than just soreness because he came out of the game. But he was getting after it good the other day, not just in terms of velocity, but the action to his secondary stuff. He looked great on the mound. So we'll be  cautious with this."
If the Sox have to make a short-term DL move, it's likely that reliever Alex Wilson will be promoted from Pawtucket to replace Aceves in the bullpen. Wilson had a strong spring and is already on the 40-man roster.