|A frustrated Beckett discusses his injury||05.20.10 at 4:53 pm ET|
As the rain came down in Yankee Stadium, Josh Beckett was unconcerned about the conditions. The mound conditions were, in his own words, “less than favorable” for all parties, but after having his previous start scratched due to back stiffness that occurred in batting practice, Beckett felt pain-free on Tuesday against the Yankees.
“I didn’t think about it one time until I slipped,” said Beckett. “My back wasn’t bothering me, it wasn’t tightening up, it wasn’t getting fatigued. It was just one pitch.”
That pitch — a changeup to Alex Rodriguez in the fifth inning — led to a recurrence of the discomfort that Beckett had experienced during that batting practice. And so, with one skipped start having been insufficient to rid Beckett of his back condition, the Sox opted to place the 30-year-old on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
Beckett (1-1, 7.29) is receiving regular treatment — stim and ice, or stim and heat treatments — but has yet to resume any baseball activities. That said, he is confident that he will be sidelined for no more than his scheduled 15 days on the D.L. Even though that would represent a best-case scenario now that he is on the shelf, Beckett took little solace in the fact when asked how he was feeling.
“Alright I guess. I don’t really know what else to say. It’s frustrating,” Beckett said. “It’s just frustrating to play in those conditions, especially when you’ve got something like a back injury and one pitch basically costs you two starts.
“[On the pitch,] my actual land leg just never grabbed. Their guys had to deal with it, too. Obviously, we ended up winning the game, so the outcome is good, but whenever you deal with a back injury or something like that, that costs you two more starts, it’s frustrating. … When your back’s not 100 percent and something like that happens, you put yourself in a lot of danger.”
Beckett said that the pain from this injury was not as severe as it was following the swinging incident. But the fact that this represented the recurrence of an injury made it clear that the pitcher and his team needed to follow a more conservative approach to treatment.
“The whole thing could have been dealt with differently,” said Beckett. “Ten days wasn’t enough last time, so we’re going to give it 15 days this time.”
That said, it is possible that the injury could have other implications. In 2008, for instance, Beckett injured his back while slipping on the mound during warmups in a spring training game. He ended up spending the first month of the season on the D.L., and when he returned, he faced a host of minor injuries and tweaks that led to diminished availability (27 starts, his fewest as a Sox) and effectiveness (12-10, 4.03 ERA).
Beckett suggested that it would be premature to compare his current injury to that one.
“[The current injury] is kind of in the same spot, but [team medical staff members] are telling me it’s something that’s totally different,” said Beckett. “I can’t start worrying about [whether this injury could linger for the season] right now. It’s still a little bit early for me to think about further down the road than just trying to get through today, feel better.”
Beckett reported that he remains uncomfortable, and that motions that require torque are somewhat “miserable.” Even so, he is making steady progress, giving him, at the least, a hopeful outlook that he will be back as scheduled in a couple of weeks.
“I’m better today than I was yesterday,” he said. That’s everyone’s goal.”
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