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David Price could be returning next week

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The Red Sox get a huge boost soon.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox rotation has been mostly solid this season, but the final spot has been a problem for essentially all of 2017. Steven Wright just didn’t have it this year, and then when the knuckleballer went down for the season Kyle Kendrick was not inspiring in his place. Luckily, that hole should be plugged by a former Cy Young winner, and it could happen sooner rather than later.

David Price was scheduled to make his first rehab appearance on Sunday in Pawtucket, but Mother Nature had other plans on Mother’s Day. Rather than push the outing to a different day, the Red Sox kept their pitcher on schedule by having him just throw a simulated game in the cage. It’s obviously not quite the same as a live-action contest against actual opponents, but he got his 75 pitches in and that’s what matters most.

Now, they are planning on having Price go out for one more rehab appearance on the 20th. He should throw about 90 pitches in that outing. If everything goes well from there, the Red Sox should have their full rotation back — depending on how things go with Drew Pomeranz, of course.

It may seem like the Red Sox are rushing Price back by having him make just one rehab start, but they were always planning on him relying on simulated game action. He’s been pitching simulated games for a few weeks now, and by doing so it limits how much other teams get scouts to see the lefty. The team can still monitor his progress with these outings.

Obviously, it’s too early to bank on this all going totally smoothly, because pitcher injuries are always tricky. There’s always the possibility of a setback in the next day or two after this simulated outing, or there’s a chance of something going wrong in the rehab assignment on Saturday. Still, if everything goes well, Price should be back in the rotation for the final weekend series of the month. If it happens, it’s a huge boost to this Red Sox team.