It looks like Josh Beckett will be able to avoid surgery. It also looks like he will pitch again despite his own concerns to the contrary last week. Beckett was diagnosed with nerve irritation in his right hand, and he will not be allowed to pitch for at least the next four weeks. However, Beckett's diagnosis is a good step in getting him healthy and back on the field.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times says manager Don Mattingly acknowledges it will likely take some time before Beckett is able to pitch again. Even if the former ace can pick up a ball and start throwing again in four weeks, he will still have additional pitch-related rehab to go through.
After the four weeks, Beckett will have to prove he can throw from increasing distances, then prove he can throw from a mound, then prove he can pitch in simulated games, then finally prove he can pitch in a rehab assignment. His return could still be two months away.
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Beckett was placed on the disabled list back on May 15th with a strained groin. His DL stint cleared a roster spot for the return of Zack Greinke. Beckett was not pitching well this season, so some thought the move could have been made just to give Beckett a break. However, he confirmed he had also been dealing with numbness in his fingers for a few weeks prior to the groin strain. The numbness prompted Beckett to question whether he would ever be able to pitch again.
This season, Beckett was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA when he was placed on the DL. He has struggled in each of his last two seasons. Injuries, of course, have played a major role in those struggles.
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