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Injury updates: John Lackey ‘pain-free’ as he moves to 120 feet

05.21.11 at 5:06 pm ET
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John Lackey is no longer feeling pain in his elbow as he resumes throwing. (AP)

John Lackey threw Saturday for the second time since receiving a cortisone shot on Monday. He threw 50 times from 120 feet on flat ground while being watched by both pitching coach Curt Young and trainer Mike Reinold.

The Sox were extremely pleased not just that Lackey (2-5, 8.01 ERA) showed good arm strength but also that he is expressing some relief about how good he feels physically.

“His arm’s feeling good. … He’s feeling pain-free,” said Young. “As a pitcher, when there’s something going on with your arm, it’s going to affect you both physically and mentally. Your arm’s never perfect, but you don’t want to feel any pain that is affecting how you whip your arm. I think that might have been the case with him.”

Lackey is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. Manager Terry Francona said the plan moving forward is for Lackey to join the team on its upcoming seven-game road trip and continue to throw. He said there hasn’t been any decision made about a possible minor-league rehab stint.

“We’ll see. He really wasn’t down very long, which is good,” Francona said. “When there’s a shutdown of a guy not throwing for a couple weeks, that kind of interrupts what you’ve done. He really didn’t miss a whole lot of time. Saying that, there’s a reason he was shut down. If a guy goes from the two-week DL to seven innings, I don’t know if that’s in anybody’s best interest. So we have to figure that out.”

Francona also provided updates on Bobby Jenks and Marco Scutaro. He said Jenks “threw very well” Saturday and that he’ll play catch again Sunday before throwing a bullpen session Monday.

As for Scutaro, Francona said he could start swinging a bat sometime this week, but that Scutaro has yet to indicate that he is pain-free. Francona said once a player is pain-free, the team’s rule of thumb is to have him wait a couple days before doing anything.

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