BOSTON — The Red Sox could be getting their All-Star closer back sooner than expected.
Craig Kimbrel threw a 25-pitch bullpen off the game mound at Fenway Park on Monday, marking another positive step in his rehab from a torn left meniscus that required surgery on July 11. According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, everything went off without a hitch.
“Good bullpen,” Farrell said before Monday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. “He felt good about it. He was aggressive for the 25 pitches he threw, both his fastball and his curveball. It didn?t look like to the naked eye that he was favoring anything.
“We had him throw on the main mound so we could get the pitch tracker on him and just make sure that his release point, arm angle, those types of things are consistent with game activity.”
Kimbrel, who hasn’t pitched since before the All-Star break, is in line to throw another bullpen Wednesday. If that goes well, the 28-year-old right-hander could make a rehab appearance as early as this Saturday. Farrell said Kimbrel might need just one rehab stint and didn’t rule out the possibility of his closer returning on Boston’s 11-game road trip, which begins Thursday.
That’s good news for the Sox — Kimbrel originally was expected to miss three to six weeks, and Saturday would mark three weeks since he was placed on the disabled list.
Kimbrel had scuffled a bit before going down with the knee injury and currently owns a 3.55 ERA. But his speedy return would greatly benefit the Red Sox, who already are dealing with ailments to relievers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa.
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