BOSTON — Daisuke Matsuzaka is on a mission.

That mission: pitching for the Boston Red Sox. According to manager Bobby Valentine, Dice-K will start a rehab assignment on Monday with Single-A Salem meaning he can return to the majors on or around May 23.

“Daisuke feels really good,” said Valentine. “He’s ready to start dealing with competition rather than rehabilitation.”

The righty will be on a five-day routine with a 75-pitch limit in his first start.

The 31-year-old was 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in eight games last year. He is is 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA in five seasons with the Sox.