Morales, who was sent to Boston to see specialists this week, has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back. The left-hander received an epidural injection, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to start throwing.
“When he first had the back symptoms, he went through conservative oral medication but it was clear he needed to receive the injection,” manager John Farrell told reporters on Friday. “[The next step is to] begin to initiate some activities as the symptoms subside, which they are. We’re hopeful to start inside-the-weight room type workouts. There’s no target date to put a ball back into his hand yet.”
Morales figured to be Boston’s first option when it came to spot starts this season, as he proved to be a valuable contributor in that role in 2012. With no timetable set for Morales’ return, though, Farrell will have to consider other options. And right now, it looks as if Alfredo Aceves will play the role of “sixth starter.”
Morales went 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 37 games last season.