Boston Red Sox' John Lackey Could Return to Rotation By Week's End

By Justin Söderberg

The Boston Red Sox are expected to send John Lackey on a rehab assignment this week. The starting pitcher is expected to take the mound for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs on Monday, in what could be his only rehab start before joining the big league club.

Lackey, who was placed on the disabled list back on April 7 with a strained right biceps, is set to toss four innings or 65 pitches at Double-A. If all goes well in his rehab start, the right-hander could rejoin the Red Sox by the end of the week.

The Red Sox starting pitcher missed the entire 2012 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Lackey returned to the lineup for his first and only start this season on April 6. He tossed a great opening four innings, striking out eight before giving up two earned runs and exiting the game with his arm injury.

Lackey’s great first few innings on the season were a welcome sight for the Red Sox organization and their fans. The 34-year-old has been nothing short of a disappointment since signing a five-year $82.5 million deal in 2010. As the Red Sox highest paid player, if he can return to great form and pitch well for the Red Sox this season, fans may let his first couple of season go and move on.

Joining Lackey at Double-A Portland will be Franklin Morales, who is expected to pitch four innings on Wednesday. Morales is being stretched out to be a starter, so the Red Sox may have some decisions to make in their starting rotation.

Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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