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John Lackey: ‘Still a little bit of something’ in biceps, but feels ready

04.22.13 at 9:23 pm ET
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Red Sox starter John Lackey, after tossing 3 2/3 shutout innings for Double-A Portland, suggested that he answered outstanding questions about whether he would be comfortable on the mound following the right biceps strained that cut short his first and only start of the season on April 6. The 34-year-old said that he was able to throw all four of his pitches, and that even though he still feels some residue of his injury, his arm is comfortable enough to permit him to move forward, perhaps with a start back in the big leagues this coming weekend.

“It’s not 100 percent. There’s still a little bit of something there. But I think five more days of treatment, that should be fine,” Lackey told reporters in Portland. “I was really just concentrating on feeling good mechanically and locating the ball. I didn’t really cut it loose very often — most of the time, just trying to locate the ball, get some grounders, come out of it feeling good. … If I feel pretty good tomorrow, I’m probably done. Probably heading back [to the big leagues].”

He did indeed locate (throwing 45 of 67 pitches for strikes) and elicit lots of groundballs, recording five outs in that capacity, and with each of the three singles he permitted coming on grounders.

Lackey, who wore a wrap over his biceps that he adjusted during the start, said that the rehab start was intended to permit him peace of mind for a return to the big leagues.

“That’s the main reason I came here today as opposed to just going back there and starting,” Lackey told reporters. “Passed that test today. Hopefully move on, keep it moving.”

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