A report from a Japanese news agency claims that Red Sox righty Daisuke Matsuzaka's elbow troubles will require an ulnar collateral ligament replacement, commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
The report originated from the Japanese news agency Nikkan Sports, and if proven true would certainly mean the end of his 2011 season and perhaps as much as the first half of the 2012 season. Gordon Edes, writing for ESPN.com, reports that Matsuzaka first experienced elbow pain as long ago as April 29th. By the time he made his May 8th start against Minnesota, in which he earned a win in a 9-5 Red Sox victory, he was playing in significant pain. His next start he gave up five earned runs while walking seven in just 4.1 innings, and that was the last time he pitched, perhaps for a long time.
In other injury news, reliever Rich Hill was removed from today's game, a 10-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox, with elbow pain that appeared excruciating. Initial examination looked positive but Hill was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital for a precautionary MRI
Bobby Jenks, the Sox' eigth-inning setup man, has returned to the bullpen after two successful rehab outings in Pawtucket. He was reactivated from the DL yesterday and to make room for him Michael Bowden, once again without making a pitch, was optioned back to Pawtucket.
Shortstop Marco Scutaro is expected to start his rehab assignment in the next few days. Scutaro and his strained left oblique were responsible for giving rookie José Iglesias his first taste of the Big Leagues, for giving Drew Sutton his first major-league experience with the Red Sox, and for letting Jed Lowrie show what he is capable of, likely taking the starting job from Scutaro permanently.
Lefty reliever Franklin Morales was placed on the 15-day DL on May 29th with forearm strain in his pitching arm, but is expected to spend longer than that rehabbing his injury.
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