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Beckett scratched from tomorrow’s start

08.28.08 at 2:33 pm ET
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Josh Beckett will not make his scheduled start tomorrow against the White Sox due to ongoing discomfort with his pitching elbow. The Red Sox starter will instead fly to Birmingham, Alab., to visit with orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, the doctor on whom Beckett relies for medical advice. (Colleague Rob Bradford offered a bit of insight on that medical relationship in this story.)

“He’s just not quite 100 percent,” said Sox G.M. Theo Epstein. “He’s getting better, but again, not quite 100 percent. So as much for his peace of mind as anything, he’s going to see Dr. Andrews on Friday morning.”

“We had him penciled in (to start on Friday), but you guys could probably tell from our answers over the last few days that we thought this might be a possibility,” added Epstein. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Epstein said that the numbness and tingling that afflicted Beckett during his last start, against the Blue Jays on August 17, has “subsided for the most part,” but that “the elbow itself doesn’t feel 100 percent.” That being the case, the team remains committed to getting its titular ace back to full health before it puts him in a game.

“We have to take his long-term interests and the team’s long-term interests into account, first and foremost,” said Epstein. “We don’t want to put any pitcher in a position where he has to take the mound at less than 100 percent.”

The visit to see Andrews, Epstein suggested, does not indicate a dire long-term prognosis. It was instead described as an opportunity to get a second opinion from a doctor with whom Beckett enjoys a lengthy history.

“We’re pretty optimistic that this thing’s getting better,” said Epstein. “It just makes sense. Josh has a great relationship with Andrews. He’s an accomplished doctor. Just get another opinion here, (and) hope (Beckett) comes back and can take the ball relatively soon.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka will be pushed up a day to start on Friday, and the Sox have yet to announce a starter for Saturday.

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