BOSTON (AP) - Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka could miss a month with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow, marking the third straight season he’ll be out for quite a while.
“When he goes out to pitch again, we want him to be free and easy,” Francona said before the Red Sox played Detroit.
The 30-year-old Matsuzaka was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. He is 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in eight games.
Right-hander Michael Bowden was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
“Daisuke experienced tightness in his elbow during his last start. His examination is consistent with a sprained lunar collateral ligament, and strain to his common flexor mass. An MRI was obtained which confirmed these exam findings,” team physician Dr. Thomas Gill said in a statement.
In each of the past two seasons, Matsuzaka had landed on the DL twice. Last year, he made only 25 starts because of neck strain and a strained right forearm.
In 2009, he made just 12 starts and pitched only 59 1-3 innings. He was sidelined with a strained shoulder early in the season and again with the same injury that June.
In 2008, Matsuzaka set a career-high with 18 wins despite missing some time with a strained rotator cuff.
Matsuzaka, for whom Boston paid $103 million ($51 million posting fee, plus $52 million contract) to acquire from Japan before the 2007 season, is in the fifth year of a six-year contract.