Josh Beckett to Throw Side Session Upon Return to Boston, Could Make Start Later in Week

Josh Beckett will throw a side session when the Red Sox return to Boston and could make a start later in the week, manager Terry Francona said.

Beckett last appeared Monday in Toronto in a start he left after just 3 2/3 innings because of a sprained ankle. Since he left the rotation, it has produced six starts with an average duration of just 4 2/3 innings.

While Francona recognizes the desperate need to get back his top starter, there will be no rush until Beckett gets through the side session.

"We'll see how he does," Francona said. "He's itching to pitch, which is good. If he's getting like that, that's a good sign. We'll monitor that, see where it goes from there."

Tim Wakefield is scheduled to pitch Tuesday at home against Toronto and John Lackey will go Wednesday.

The rematch with Tampa Bay begins Thursday at Fenway Park, where Francona may have to go with Kyle Weiland again if Beckett and Erik Bedard, who has knee and lat issues, remain sidelined. Jon Lester can go on regular rest Friday.

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