posted at 2/12/2012 2:45 AM EST
I have reviewed the "literature" on the subject of Beckett's ankle. And tried not be "selective." Maybe Google missed something, but there is plenty of what one must assume is typical of the commentary.
The day after Beckett left a Toronto game, there was much hand-wringing and grinding of teeth. The injury was called "mysterious," a strain, a threat to Boston's season, and so on.
First, the injury was not technically a "strain." There was no structural damage to the ankle. No damaged ligaments.
A strain does not sound as ominous as a break, but it can be just as debilitating. Typically, it takes longer to heal than the time Beckett was on the shelf.
Here are links to a couple of pieces I found interesting: firebrand.com/ Charlie Saponara; joyofsox.blogsport.com/extent of Beckett's injury.
In any event, the injury was not ultimately judged to be serious enough to impede Beckett's effectiveness. Nor did he say it was, as far as I know. He's usually been honest both ways about his performances -- whether or not they were affected one way or another by this or that.
I was unable to locate any article written after he returned to the rotation that connected for certain his performance with the lingering effects of a turned ankle. I don't mean speculation. I mean a knowledgeable source. Beckett himself? Terry? Theo? A trainer? Sister Mary Agnes?
I repeat. He appears to have been held back two starts as a precautionary measure -- so he'd be healthy for the post-season. Surely, no one in his right mind would want a guy who throws in the mid-90's to push off on a cranky and vulnerable ankle. Or in pain. It's actually easier to pitch with a cranky arm than with a cranky foot.
If the ankle was bothersome the first time out after he returned to the rotation, why would the Sox keep sending him out there? He had throwing sessions before that return, and must have passed muster in his own mind and in those of observers.
Now that pitchers and catchers are reporting, has anyone said that the Sox will keep an eye on Beckett's "injured" ankle?