By Matt Snyder
The Red Sox have officially placed starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury. He's expected to miss at least a month, manager Terry Francona told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
The injury is not one to toy with, as the Red Sox's medical director Dr. Tom Gill released a statement saying:
“Daisuke experienced tightness in his elbow during his last start. His examination is consistent with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, and strain to his common flexor mass. An MRI was obtained which confirmed these exam findings. He will be re-examined in two weeks.”
The ulnar collateral ligament is the one that, when torn, requires Tommy John surgery to repair. And we all know by now -- from reading all the injury reports on sports stars, of course -- that a strain is actually a slight tear. So if Dice-K kept pitching, the odds are he'd fully tear the thing and need about a season and a half of rehab after the ensuing surgery.
Matsuzaka, 30, is 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.47 WHIP this season. He put together stellar back-to-back outings in mid-April, but has been pretty bad otherwise.
He joins fellow starting pitcher John Lackey on the disabled list. In their places, Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield will join the starting rotation behind the formidable trio of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.
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