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Matsuzaka begins recovery process

Kyodo

Boston Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka played catch for the first time on Monday since undergoing season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery in June.

Matsuzaka, who had the ligament-transplant operation performed on June 10, threw 39 pitches from short range.

“I was nervous about my first throw because I didn’t want to throw it in a strange way,” Matsuzaka said. “Since it was my first time holding a baseball in a long time, I wasn’t quite sure about my release.”

The 31-year-old Matsuzaka, who enters the final year of his contract with the Red Sox in 2012, went 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts.

Matsuzaka iced the elbow while holding a news conference after practice.

“I am taking more time for preparation before I throw and on aftercare than I did before the surgery. I want to try throwing the ball every other day. I will have to make sure to just maintain my body’s condition,” he said.