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Red Sox pregame notes: Jon Lester expected to make next start as scheduled, with no damage to hip

06.28.13 at 5:04 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell emphasized on Friday that Jon Lester‘s hip is not damaged in any significant way, and that he expects Lester to make his scheduled start next week against the Padres. Lester left Thursday’s game after landing awkwardly on the hip and jamming it in the eighth inning – deeper than he had pitched into any game since May 10.

“He feels improved, so we’re considering today similar to any other Day 1 following a start,” Farrell said. “He does get the advantage of an extra day’s rest this next time through, so we fully expect him to be on the mound against San Diego next week.”

Farrell acknowledged that Lester has felt some soreness in the hip before, but suggested it’s nothing that requires extra medical attention.

“Based on all the maintenance work he currently does, and the strength exams that he goes through, range of motion is good,” Farrell said. “There’s nothing that is glaring. There are times that – his stride direction is a little bit across his body, he’ll pinch it at times. So I can’t say that there’s the need for some kind of intervention to correct something that’s damaged. That’s not the case.”

- The plan is to put a ball in Clay Buchholz‘s hand on Saturday or Sunday, Farrell said. Buchholz is recovering from a trapezius strain and bursa sac swelling that showed up on an MRI of his shoulder this week, although the MRI showed no structural damage to the shoulder.

“Because he’s feeling improved, this is a prescribed time period to not throw,” Farrell said. “Everything is pointing towards this weekend to initiate that.”

- Given Koji Uehara‘s age (38), the Sox have emphasized this year that he needs proper rest between appearances to pitch as well as he can. Farrell said Friday that it would be determined by the start of the game whether Uehara would be available that night after closing two consecutive games.

“As he goes through his throwing program today, we’ll determine whether he’s available tonight,” Farrell said. “Hopefully he is. Hopefully we have a save situation again. It’s no different than any other day when he was not in this role. We check in with him as we do with every reliever on their availability on a given night. We’ve got to be a little bit more cautious here, but the last two outings have not been high-stress. Even though it’s the ninth inning, he’s had outings earlier, and recently, when it’s been 25 and 30 pitches, and those have been much more stressful than the last one. That’s not to take anything away from the opponents – that’s to say he’s gone out and he’s been efficient.”

Farrell said Uehara will let him know if he’s not feeling 100 percent, and that he’s done so at times this year. If Uehara is unavailable in a save situation, Farrell said he’ll likely rely on matchups to decide who will close.

- Franklin Morales played catch before Friday’s game, but Farrell said he’s not close to a return from his left pectoral muscle strain.

“We’re not at the point of mapping anything out to ramp him back up to get on the mound yet,” Farrell said. “Today was more of just putting a ball in his hand and getting his arm, range of motion type exercise.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Koji Uehara,
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