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Josh Beckett: Though thumb eventually may require surgery, ‘dumbfounded’ by concern

04.04.12 at 4:42 pm ET
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DETROIT — In most years, little drama surrounds a team on the day of its final workout prior to the start of the regular season. In that sense, the 2012 Red Sox are already an atypical team.

Andrew Bailey will undergo surgery on the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb on Wednesday, thus leaving the Sox without their anticipated closer for the first half of the season. Given Bailey’s situation, there were alarm bells sounded when news emerged that right-hander Josh Beckett was having his thumb examined both in San Antonio by Dr. Mark Bagg and in Cleveland by Dr. Thomas Graham, the latter being the same doctor who examined Bailey.

However, after manager Bobby Valentine declared Beckett’s thumb “not much of an injury,” Beckett suggested that he was stunned by the concern that the condition — which he considers trivial after dealing with some variation of it for 18 months — generated as much attention as it did.

“Everything’s fine. I really have no idea how this got blown out like this. I was dumbfounded,” said Beckett. “The text messages and the e-mails I was getting from guys, I was like, what’s going on here? I think a lot of it had to do with Andrew Bailey also having injured his thumb. But he injured his thumb on one thing. Mine was something that’s happened over time.”

Beckett said that he “had some issues the last few weeks of spring training,” but said that it’s something he “should just get through for six months.” He received a cortisone injection into the joint during the offseason and another roughly two to three weeks during spring training, and it was the fact that the second injection had limited palliative impact that led him to see Bagg in San Antonio. (It was the team, Beckett said, that wanted him to see Graham.)

“It didn’t respond as well [to the cortisone shot] this time, and I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t some more damage in there,” said Beckett, who said he did not know how to describe the medical condition that he faced. (“There’s a bunch of little bones and stuff in there that had some things going on.) “It’s something I’ve been dealing with for 18 months. It’s been there for 18 months. Like I said, we’re just covering the bases as far after a shot things didn’t go as smooth as they had in the past. We had to make sure there wasn’t some more stuff going on. … I think everything’s good. There was just one concern that it was my ligament, much like Andrew Bailey’s deal, and it wasn’t.”

Beckett acknowledged that he will continue to monitor the condition of his sore thumb during the season. He suggested that, at some point, surgery may be an option, but that it wasn’t being considered right now.

“We’ve got to kind of play it by ear, see how things go,” said Beckett.

Read More: Josh Beckett, thumb,
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