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'This is driving me crazy'

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  August 2, 2006 02:56 PM

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You remember Matt Clement, 2005 All-Star and the man who opened the playoffs for the Sox last season? Clement hasn't pitched since June 14, when he gave up five hits and six walks in just 4 2/3 innings in a loss in Minnesota, and has been on the DL since with biceps tendinitis.

With the Sox rotation in shambles, it's natural to wonder, of course, whether Clement will be back any time soon. The short answer? Not likely. He threw a bullpen session Tuesday, and here's what he had to say that afternoon.

"Weíll see. The better it feels, the quicker I can get going. They donít want to happen what happened last time, and I donít, either.''

Clement was referring to going out on a rehab assignment that he had to cut short, just when the Sox were hoping he'd be back shortly after the All-Star break.

"Iíve never been through this before, so I donít have anything to play it off. Itís not like I can say, ĎHey, I was hurt in 2002, I rehabbed, and I felt like this or that.í Iíve never been in this position before.

I sometimes get frustrated when it doesnít feel good, and theyíre saying, ĎYouíre progressing great. Thatís exactly where we want you.í So, other days it feels great, and Iím ready to speed it up, and we go too quick."

"This is dreadful. I just do as much work as I can do. I do all the stuff with my arm that I can do, and do my running, and do what I can do to keep busy."

(Do you sense frustration from others?) "No, at least not from the people Iím dealing with, I donít sense it. I think they know my history and enough about me that if there was any way I could have avoided this or made this a quicker comeback, I would have been there by now. This is driving me crazy.

"(The injury is to) the biceps tendon that connects to the shoulder. There's no tear. Just inflamed and tired and everything else. You know, Iíve had to take so much time off because Iíve tried to make comebacks, each time I Ďve started from scratch, and each time from a deeper scratch. You take three weeks off over a course of four or five, youíre back to late December. For me, my armís used to feeling tired right now, but being where I could get to where I needed to be. Thatís the process.''

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