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No damage to ankle tendons of Beckett

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / September 7, 2011

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TORONTO - Josh Beckett will need extensive treatment on his sprained right ankle, but he is expected to recover sufficiently to pitch again for the Red Sox before the end of the regular season and beyond.

The righthander traveled back to Boston yesterday and was examined by Dr. George Theodore, a foot specialist. A person familiar with the results of the tests said that while Beckett has a significant sprain, he could return to the mound within 7-10 days.

The injury will be treated by reducing inflammation; stabilizing the ankle with a brace and strengthening the joint with rehabilitation. There are no plans for a cortisone shot.

Red Sox medical director Dr. Tom Gill released a statement through the team.

“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,’’ Gill said. “We will re-evaluate his symptoms and availability later this week.’’

Manager Terry Francona said that was good news. But other than to say Beckett would miss his next start, Francona did not indicate when he expected his ace to return.

“I don’t know that we need to really speculate,’’ Francona said. “Let’s let this thing settle down, let the medical staff work, and we’ll get him back whenever he’s supposed to be.’’

Beckett could rejoin the team as early as today. The Sox told him to see how he felt when he woke up this morning and make a decision on his travel plans.

“It’s big that it’s just a sprain,’’ Jon Lester said after throwing seven innings in last night’s 14-0 victory against Toronto. “Hopefully he’ll be back in a couple of days rather than a couple of weeks. That’s good news to hear.’’

Beckett was injured in the fourth inning of Monday afternoon’s game against Toronto when he seemed to slip on the rubber while delivering a pitch. He is 12-5 with a 2.49 earned run average and leads the Sox with a 173 1/3 innings.

“It’s good news about JB,’’ designated hitter David Ortiz said. “It sounds like he might not be out for too long. That’s good, because we need that guy back.’’

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@PeteAbe.

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