John Lackey Hopeful Injury Is ‘Nothing Too Crazy,’ But Admits ‘It Scared the Crap Out of Me’

John LackeyWhen John Lackey grabbed his right arm after delivering a pitch to Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes on Saturday, the obvious reaction was to assume the worst. Even Lackey is guilty of such.

“A year and a half of getting to this point and having to do it again,” Lackey told reporters when asked what went through his head.

“Yeah, it scared the crap out of me, for sure,” he later added.

Lackey’s start on Saturday was his first since Sept. 25, 2011. He missed all of the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and he worked tirelessly to get back to where he was entering Saturday’s game. An injury just didn’t seem fair, especially since Lackey looked fantastic in his 4 1/3 innings before going down.

Lackey’s exact status is still unclear. He’ll undergo an MRI on Sunday, at which point the Red Sox should have a better understanding of how long he’ll be sidelined. The initial prognosis after Saturday’s game, though, is actually somewhat encouraging, mostly because the injury isn’t related to his surgically repaired elbow. Instead, it’s thought to be an issue with Lackey’s biceps.

“The test they ran on me here [Saturday] looked pretty good,” Lackey told reporters after the game. “Hopefully we’ll get a picture of it tomorrow and get after it. Hopefully it’s nothing too crazy.

“It got better when I got inside. It kind of loosened up a little bit. It felt like a pretty good cramp, like a hamstring kind of thing, which I’ve had before. I would liken it to that.”

With Lackey sidelined, the Red Sox will likely turn to Alfredo Aceves to become the team’s fifth starter. He entered the game for Lackey on Saturday, and he surrendered three earned runs — all on a moon shot by Colby Rasmus in the sixth inning. What we’ll have to wait and see, though, is just how long the Sox will require a fill-in for Lackey.

For now, Lackey is remaining optimistic — albeit cautiously.

“So many people have had it, guys have had different experiences,” Lackey said of his injury. “I’ve talked to several. There have been a few guys with bicep stuff. We’ll see what happens [Sunday]. Hopefully it’s not too serious.”

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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