The news on Josh Beckett’s right ankle wasn’t all bad last night, even before the team confirmed the initial diagnosis of a sprain.
How bad could it be, manager Terry Francona mused from Toronto, if Beckett, often at his best when ornery, was chafing at having to be back in Boston for an MRI?
“I think he was actually doing OK, good enough to complain about going [for the exam],” Francona said.
The team made a more concrete diagnosis last night, after Beckett was forced from Monday’s start against the Blue Jays with ankle pain. Beckett, who will miss at least one start, does not have ligament or Achilles tendon damage.
Although sources indicated the sprain was “bad,” Beckett will not require surgery.
“Josh was evaluated [yesterday] at the Massachusetts General Hospital by the Red Sox medical staff, including team foot and ankle specialist, Dr. George Theodore,” Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill said in a statement. “His examination was consistent with an ankle sprain. An MRI was performed that confirmed no other injury to his ankle tendons, or his Achilles tendon. We will re-evaluate his symptoms and availability later this week.”
Beckett was joined on the shelf by Erik Bedard, a more likely injury candidate, with a sore left knee. That forces the Red Sox to turn to rookie Kyle Weiland to make a start Saturday at Tropicana Field, joining Jon Lester, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and Andrew Miller in a rotation that suddenly looks vulnerable with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
Beckett left Monday’s game in the fourth inning complaining of pain in his right ankle, which is critical to the right-hander’s ability to push off and generate power.