Daisuke Matsuzaka to Make First Rehab Start With Single-A Salem on Monday

Daisuke Matsuzaka to Make First Rehab Start With Single-A Salem on MondayThe Red Sox have had some serious pitching issues early on this season, but help could be on the way.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his first rehab start at Single-A Salem on Monday, according to manager Bobby Valentine.

The team plans to go slow with Matsuzaka, as he's expected to throw around 75 pitches and will be removed if any inning gets too laborious. The outing kickstarts a 30-day window for his rehab assignment. After 30 days, he must be activated, and a return at that point would mean Matsuzaka is arriving back in Boston ahead of schedule.

Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery to replace a ligament in his elbow last June, and the recovery for such typically takes 12-18 months. The Red Sox are pleased with the way the righty has progressed, though, so it's not too far-fetched to think he could be making meaningful starts with the Sox before long.

"Daisuke feels really good," Valentine said. "The conversation with him is that he's ready to start dealing with competition rather than rehabilitation."

Matsuzaka appeared in eight games in 2011 and went 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA. Although he's had his ups and downs, Boston's pitching has been atrocious thus far, and his return will certainly be welcomed.

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