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Franklin Morales on cusp of returning to Red Sox

05.25.13 at 1:24 pm ET

Franklin Morales is just about ready to return to the Red Sox.

The lefty, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since the beginning of the season with a lower back strain, appears ready to be reinserted into the Red Sox’€™ bullpen, or be available for a spot start.

According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, it has yet to be determined if Morales will be activated this weekend or receive one more rehab assignment.

Morales has totaled as many as 80 pitches during his rehab stint, which has seen him make five appearances. In 17 innings he has allowed seven runs (6 earned), while totaling a 3.18 ERA.

As for how much time Morales could spend as a reliever and still be considered for a start, Farrell said, ‘€œUsually the general rule of thumb is probably two weeks where you could at least insert him back in with some known ability to get 70 pitches, 65-70 pitches. And that’€™s not taking into account what kind of work he would have had in the interim.’€

Right now there would not seem to be a spot for Morales in the starting rotation, with Ryan Dempster still slated to make his next scheduled start Tuesday. That could change due to any postponements and the need for an extra arm due to a doubleheader.

The Red Sox headed into Saturday carrying 13 pitches, with the move to add an additional position player most likely not coming until they decipher what sort of dynamic the inclement weather dictates.

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