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Tingling, numbness for Beckett

Posted by Amalie Benjamin  August 19, 2008 04:49 PM

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BALTIMORE -- In the wake of the revelation by Terry Francona that Josh Beckett has been experiencing tingling and numbness in his right arm since Sunday, Beckett addressed the media in the visiting clubhouse here in Baltimore.

Beckett will be pushed back from Saturday to Tuesday because of the issue, and is undergoing tests to attempt to determine the source of the problem. Beckett said he slept awkwardly on the arm before Sunday's start against the Blue Jays, a start in which he gave up 8 runs in 2 2/3 innings.

"Just something I've been dealing with," Beckett said. "At some point in time, just got to figure out what the [heck] it is. Obviously it's not what I want, but I think at this juncture it's something that needs to happen. Obviously there's something going on."

Beckett said the numbness remains in his pinky and ring finger, and has been there since Sunday, though it has improved over time. There is "not very much pain at all with it," he said. "You've got to figure out what the [heck] it is. You don't want it to get so bad to where it ends up being a really bad problem."

It appears that this isn't exactly a new problem for Beckett. While he said he has never dealt with it "on that level," including on a day he's been on the mound, it is something that he and the team have monitored over time.

The pitcher will not have to leave the team for tests at this point, with assistant trainer Mike Reinold working on determining the source of the problem.

"Any time something's wrong with your arm when you're a baseball player, or especially a pitcher, you obviously thing the worst first," he said. "I've been kind of reassured by people that it's not [something serious, like an aneurysm]."

Asked if he has or might have to undergo an arthrogram -- a test in which dye is inserted to get a picture of a joint -- Beckett said, "No, I haven't. I'm not a big fan of those arthrograms. I think they cause a lot of unneeded soreness. If it gets to that point, we'll do what we need to do. I don't think that's what it is."

The rotation in Toronto will be Paul Byrd, then Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Because the team has a day off on Thursday, it wasn't particularly difficult to move up the other starters to account for Beckett's absence.

As for his start next Tuesday, Beckett said, "I don't know. It's still seven days away, so we'll see."

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