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Matsuzaka goes on DL with sprained elbow ligament

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  May 18, 2011 04:18 PM

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Red Sox righthanded starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list today (retroactive to May 17) after an MRI exam Tuesday revealed a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, according to the team's medical director, Dr. Thomas Gill.

After he threw 4-1/3 innings and allowed five runs on five hits and seven walks in Monday night's 8-7 victory over the Orioles, Matsuzaka underwent an MRI. The team took the proactive measure before the postponement of Tuesday night's game against the Orioles by calling up reliever Michael Bowden from Triple A Pawtucket.

Matsuzaka, speaking to reporters through an interpreter, said he thought his MRI results were much worse than he previously thought and that he might seek a second opinion.

The Red Sox issued the following statement today from Dr. Gill:

"Daisuke experienced tightness in his elbow during his last start. His examination is consistent with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, and strain to his common flexor mass. An MRI was obtained which confirmed these exam findings. He will be re-examined in two weeks."

According to manager Terry Francona, Matsuzaka will not pick up a baseball before he is re-examined.

"We got to let him have some time down and when he pitches again we'll let him go out there feel where it's free and easy and doesn't have to guard against anything,'' Francona said. "So he can think about pitching and not about his arm.''

In other pregame tidbits:

The arrival of the Tigers marked the return of former Sox catcher Victor Martinez and his son, Victor Jose, who was spotted before the game visiting the Sox clubhouse attired in a replica of his father's Tigers uniform and playing catch with D'Angelo Ortiz, the 6-year-old son of David Ortiz who was attired in a replica of his father's Sox uniform.

"It's definitely a lot of fun for him,'' Martinez said of his son. "He had a baseball game back in Orlando and he was excited to come here because he didn't want to miss this trip. He was all excited and he couldn't wait to see everybody.''

Asked about his (relatively short) time in Boston, Martinez said, "I don't have any words to describe it, It's been the best time in my career to come in here and play with this team and playing in this city in front of these great fans. It's the best time I've had in my career."

Francona said RHP Dan Wheeler, who was placed on the DL May 5, was still eligible to come off Friday. "That doesn't mean he has to, but he's doing fine'' the manager said. "So I hope he'll be back soon, he's doing really well.''

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