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Red Sox expect Dice-K to be fit for next start

Kyodo

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was taken out of Boston’s game Friday against the Seattle Mariners because of tightness in his right elbow, appears to be on course to make his next start, although when that will be remains up in the air.

Matsuzaka was pulled in the top of the fifth inning after giving up a leadoff single to Ichiro Suzuki in the 5-4 loss, but he went through a light workout Saturday and Red Sox manager Terry Francona said extensive medical tests on the pitcher went well.

“He was examined fairly extensively last night after he came out and actually did really well, so that’s good,” Francona said. “He’s going about his normal Day 1 activities. Certainly we want to keep an eye on him, but hopefully we just overreacted. Again, we talked about it last night. It’s a little bit hard not to.”

Matsuzaka was next scheduled to start Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park, but Boston’s rotation is not set beyond the next two days. Clay Buchholz was set to start Sunday but that has been pushed back to Monday because of a stomach ailment. Tim Wakefield will start instead.

On Friday, Matsuzaka gave up three hits and three runs, one earned, and walked four while striking out four in an 82-pitch outing.

The former Seibu Lions ace said after the game that he was not particularly worried about the tightness and that he had been taken off as a precaution.

“I felt a bit of tightness after going into the game but I didn’t feel like I wouldn’t be able to pitch,” said Matsuzaka.