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John Lackey's bicep improves, throwing program starts Tuesday

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The pain is gone, so John Lackey can begin throwing once more

Tom Szczerbowski

The worst might be over for John Lackey's bicep injury, as he no longer feels tightness there when throwing. The Red Sox will start the right-handed hurler on a throwing program Tuesday, beginning his road back to the big-league rotation.

Initially, it was thought Lackey might miss the disabled list entirely, as his MRI revealed only inflammation, with no tear. However, Lackey felt tightness in his bicep while throwing, and, as a precaution, the Red Sox understandably placed him on the DL, given he is just 18 months from undergoing Tommy John surgery. Now, though, with Lackey not feeling tightness any longer, chances are good he could just miss the minimum on the DL, and be back before the month is out. In the meantime, Alfredo Aceves will continue to start in his place.

Lackey has made just one start in 2013, going 4-1/3 innings against the Blue Jays on April 6 in a game Boston would lose. It wasn't Lackey's doing, however, as he struck out eight, walked one, and allowed just two runs before he was lifted due to injury, while the lineup was shut out. If his bicep is no longer an issue, and he can come out to pitch well like he did in his first start back since his TJ procedure, then Boston's rotation is going to continue to be effective from top to bottom.