In his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Red Sox and John Lackey got a scare. He pitched 4 1/3 innings before throwing a pitch and grabbing his arm in obvious pain. Lackey had to leave the game after the pitch, and there was some immediate concern that the injury could be related to elbow. Fortunately, it was his biceps, but the injury is still concerning.
According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Lackey was diagnosed with a biceps strain. He will get an MRI today, and the Red Sox will determine their course of action from there. Should Lackey have to go on the disabled list, it will be a big blow to Boston's pitching staff.
No one has said definitively that the biceps injury is related to Lackey's elbow surgery, but it's possible. Often, players will change their approach, favor a body part, or just have a weakened area after another seemingly unrelated injury. That could be the case with Lackey, but until we know more, that conclusion can't be drawn.
Boston has a real shot at quickly turning things around and competing for the division this year. They their worst season in decades last year, and fans do not want to wait for a rebuilding effort. Fortunately, the American League East appears to be wide open. Boston could win the division just as easily as the Rays or Yankees could.
Lackey last pitched in 2011. He went 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA. Elbow problems crept up in the offseason which may have prevented Lackey from being traded. He eventually underwent Tommy John surgery.
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