The Boston Red Sox suffered a huge scare on Saturday when starting pitcher John Lackey was forced to leave the game after experiencing pain in his right arm while throwing a curve ball. At this point, the exact nature of the injury is unknown, but early signs have given the team reason to be optimistic.
Immediately following the game, Lackey revealed that the discomfort had nothing to do with the surgically repaired right elbow that kept him on the sidelines for the entire 2012 season.
“A pretty good cramp. It’s all in the biceps. It’s not the elbow,” Lackey said after the Red Sox’ 5-0 loss. “It’s frustrating… scary when it happened, for sure. It’s sore, but hopefully not too serious.”
Red Sox trainer Rick Jameyson administered strength tests to the 34-year-old, and the results were consistent with a strain rather than a tear. The Red Sox won’t know anything for sure until Monday when Lackey undergoes further testing, which will include an MRI. Still, though, the veteran pitcher was upbeat.
“It got better when I got inside,” he said. “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.”
Hopefully for the Red Sox’ sake, Lackey’s assessment is accurate, and the injury is nothing too serious. The Red Sox are not deep in starting pitching (who is?), so losing Lackey for any extended period of time could be devastating to a team that’s started 4-2 out of the gate, winning both of their three-game series’ to date.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)