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John Lackey on injured arm: ‘It’s sore, but hopefully not too serious’

04.06.13 at 5:02 pm ET
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TORONTO ‘€“ John Lackey admitted after throwing his final pitch of his Saturday start ‘€“ a fifth-inning slider to Jose Reyes ‘€“ a most unappetizing thought shot through his mind.

‘€œA year and a half of getting to this point and having to do it again,’€ the Red Sox starter said. He later added, “Yeah, it scared the crap out of me, for sure.”

After throwing his 76th pitch of the afternoon, Lackey immediately found his arm hanging by his side. The pitch before he had experienced some discomfort, but on that last one something in the right biceps (just above his surgically-repaired elbow) cramped up.

‘€œA pretty good cramp. It’€™s all in the biceps. It’€™s not the elbow,’€ he said after the Red Sox’€™ 5-0 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. ‘€œIt’€™s frustrating, scary, when it happened, for sure. ‘€¦ It’€™s sore, but hopefully not too serious.’€

The encouraging aspect of the injury for Lackey was that the strength tests administered after his exit suggested there was no tear. The pitcher will fly to back to Boston, however, to undergo a series of tests, including an MRI.

‘€œThe test they ran on me here today looked pretty good. Hopefully we’€™ll get a picture of it tomorrow and get after it. Hopefully it’€™s nothing too crazy,’€ he said.

‘€œIt got better when I got inside. It kind of loosened up a little bit. It felt like a pretty good cramp, like a hamstring kind of thing, which I’ve had before. I would liken it to that.’€

The news after the game was heartening to Lackey’€™s teammates, who, like the pitcher, feared the worst as he walked off the field with Red Sox’€™ trainer Rick Jameyson.

‘€œFrom everything he told me it was nothing where he was hurt before. He said it was like a cramp or something,’€ Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz said. ‘€œI think it more scared him more than anything. Something jolts in your arm obviously your first reaction is, ‘€˜Oh my God, what did I do?’€™ But he seems to be in good spirits. That’€™s about all I know.’€

‘€œObviously I think everybody made a trip back in during the game to check on him,’€ Sox starter Jon Lester said. ‘€œHe seemed in better spirits a couple of innings later, so that’€™s always good. The big thing is getting the doctors to look at it, see what the diagnosis is and go from there.’€

Prior to the injury, Lackey was displaying perhaps his best stuff since he resumed pitching following his No. 1, 2011 surgery.

The only hiccup the pitcher dealt with during his 4 1/3-inning outing came in the fourth when J.P. Arencibia took him over the center field wall for a two-run homer.

Other then than homer, Lackey seemed in complete control, striking out eight (6 in in the first three innings), while giving up five hits.

‘€œOh man, that guy, it stinks. I think everybody’s worried about him,’€ Red Sox catcher David Ross said. ‘€œI’ll say a prayer for him. He’s such a good teammate, first of all. To come back, and how well he was throwing the ball today, I was really excited for him. He was throwing the ball really well. That stinks. When you put in that much work, and I’m sure he had some nerves tonight, I don’t think he’s too, too worried, but we’ll see.’€

After meeting with the media, Lackey appeared to be somewhat optimistic, yet cautious, offering the reminder that Sunday’€™s tests would truly define the situation.

‘€œSo many people have had it, guys have had different experiences,’€ he said. ‘€œI’ve talked to several. There have been a few guys with bicep stuff. We’€™ll see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully it’€™s not too serious.’€

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