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Pregame notes: Erik Bedard will return from injury on Tuesday

09.18.11 at 1:42 pm ET
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Erik Bedard is set to start this Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, Terry Francona announced in his pre-game press conference on Sunday. Bedard has not pitched since Sept. 3, as he has been held out with an injured lat, as well as pain in the right knee.

‘€œThere was some thought to pitching Bedard the first game on [Monday],’€ Francona said. ‘€œBut we really wanted to talk to him a little more and see if another day after throwing outside would be to his benefit, which he thought it was. That’s kind of why we are waiting.’€

Bedard threw his first bullpen session Saturday and felt no discomfort in either the lat or the knee. Since being traded to the Red Sox on July 31, Bedard is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA in six games.

‘€œThere was some thought to pitching Bedard the first game on [Monday],’€ Francona said. ‘€œBut we really wanted to talk to him a little more and see if another day after throwing outside would be to his benefit, which he thought it was. That’s kind of why we are waiting.’€

Bedard threw his first bullpen session Saturday and felt no discomfort in either the lat or the knee. Since being traded to the Red Sox on July 31, Bedard is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA in six games.

When asked if Bedard will give the Red Sox a normal start on Tuesday, Francona said that the left-hander will likely will be pulled earlier than he normally would.

‘€œNormal as in getting people out? I hope,’€ Francona said. ‘€œI don’t know about staying out there for 100 pitches, we’ll have to see. That may be a little bit of reach. The one thing we need to do, and we told Erik this, is as bad as we want to win, we need to respect our guys’ health.’€

Kyle Weiland will start the afternoon game of Monday’s day-night doubleheader against the Orioles, while John Lackey will pitch the nightcap.

Carl Crawford is not in the starting lineup for the Red Sox, as he has struggled against the left-handed David Price in his career. Crawford is 0-for-9 against Price in 2011 and is hitting just .195 against lefties this season. Conor Jackson will get the start in left field for the Red Sox.

“Since Price is so dominating on lefties, we thought we’ll throw Conor and Mac [Darnell McDonald] in there,” Francona said.

– Francona also said that injured right-hander Clay Buchholz will pitch simulated games on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Buchholz threw his first bullpen session since being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back before Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Rays and reported no problems.

Kevin Youkilis is once again out with discomfort related to a bursitis and a sports hernia. Francona maintained that there is still no timetable as to when – or if- Youkilis will be 100 percent again this season. The third baseman has sat out Boston’s last two games against Tampa Bay.

“Obviously the hope is, if he doesn’t play, he’s going to feel better,” Francona said. “He needs some time down, whether it’s days, a week, we don’t know. And as he starts to feel good enough, we try to ramp him up and we’ll see how he does.”

Mike Aviles will start at third base and bat second in place of Youkilis. Aviles has proven to be a valuable edition since being traded to Boston on July 30. The former Royal has played second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field in his short time with the Red Sox. Aviles is hitting .361 since joining Boston, the third best average in the American League during that time.

– Following Saturday’s game, FoxSports.com reported that Adrian Gonzalez‘s surgically repaired right shoulder was feeling “weak” and “tired.” The report, by Ken Rosenthal, also mentioned that Gonzalez was unable to take pre-game batting practice because of the shoulder discomfort.

“Gonzy’s been taking BP every other day on the field for about a month and a half,” Francona said. “So when Fox comes in and announces that, they could have announced it in July … so that’s not entirely an big surprise. He’s backed off for a long time.”

Francona said that there “may be” weakness in Gonzalez’s shoulder, but would not clarify any more than that.

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Carl Crawfrod, Clay Buchholz, Erik Bedard
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