There's positive news on the injury front for the Red Sox, as both Carson Smith and Eduardo Rodriguez will reach significant milestones in their rehab plans come Sunday.
For Carson Smith, it will be the first time he returns to the mound, albeit not in a game. Smith has been sidelined since March 21st with a right elbow strain. His path back to game-action is apparently not a terribly long one, with John Farrell saying the team will seriously consider bringing him back to the active roster as soon as he's able to throw a bullpen session.
That time still isn't here just yet, but on Sunday, Smith will throw off the mound after going through the standard progression on flat ground. Chances are how that session goes will make a big difference on if we're talking a matter of days before Smith returns, or weeks.
As for Eduardo Rodriguez, he's moving on to a simulated game after a bullpen session this past Wednesday. The issue for Rodriguez isn't so much about being able to pitch as it is about getting his pitch count back up. Rodriguez, after all, basically missed out on spring training, leaving him to get all that work in during April. Unfortunate, that.
This, however, isn't exactly news. We know we're likely looking at a May return for Rodriguez. That's assuming that everything goes well, but we're probably past the point where things can go horribly awry (or, at least, are more likely to than they are for any random pitcher) with the bullpen session this week. A successful outing on Sunday should basically leave us with a pretty well-established timetable for him to get back into Boston's rotation.