After making his last rehabilitation start from Tommy John surgery in Portland, the hurler is dealing with pain in his neck. He was scheduled to make a start on Friday or Saturday in Pawtucket, but the setback has delayed his next appearance.
“He had a little neck issue that we wanted to make sure felt perfect before he threw a ‘pen again,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “So we kept pushing the ‘pen back.”
The pain resides on the left side of Matsuzaka’s neck, which affects his pitching mechanics out of the stretch. If Matsuzaka pitches a clean bullpen session on either Friday or Saturday, he could be poised to start for Pawtucket on Monday.
“Rather than having him pitch with any kind of ailment, we got it better,” Valentine said. “He feels great.”
Matsuzaka is scheduled for at least two more starts in the minors.