Valentine thinks Lackey will pitch before 2012 is over

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Valentine thinks Lackey will pitch before 2012 is over

BOSTON -- All reports on John Lackey are that he's either "on schedule" or "a little ahead of schedule" with his rehabilitation from elbow surgery, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

Lackey has made strides in his recover from Tommy John surgery, and he threw a light bullpen on Tuesday. Valentine spoke with the media before Wednesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays and seemed pleased with Lackey's progression and his commitment level to that progression.

As a result, Valentine believes Lackey will pitch somewhere before the 2012 calendar year is over.

"He threw a light bullpen yesterday," Valentine said. "He's in the weight room. He's working extremely hard, in his conditioning effort, in his rehabilitation effort. I think the projections of him pitching before the year is out, meaning the calendar year, I think he's right on schedule. I don't know about the season. But he'll be pitching somewhere, I think, before the year's over."

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