Jon Lester has a strained lower left latissimus, a large muscle that runs beneath the shoulder. Terry Francona said the lefthander will be examined tomorrow.
“We’ll certainly get him checked out extensively tomorrow," he said. "The good sign of it, I think, is that he didn’t do it on one pitch. Between innings, it felt like it was cramping on him. There’s now way we’re going to let him pitch.”
Lester said he was not concerned and did not see the injury as a long-term issue. But obviously more will be learned tomorrow. Lat strains can last as quick as two weeks (that was the case for Matt Albers earlier this season) or as long as several months.
This much we do know: Alfredo Aceves has been told he will start in Lester's place Sunday against Baltimore. The Sox also need relief help after using the bullpen 11.2 innings the last two days.
It's reasonable to expect that Lester will be placed on the disabled list tomorrow and a reliever recalled from Pawtucket.
If Lester went on the DL tomorrow, he could pitch July 22, the sixth game after the break.
Lester said he wanted to go back to the mound in the fifth inning but head athletic trainer Mike Reinold ruled against it.
“There’s no point in going out there and pushing it right now,” Lester said. “I think if I would have gone out there in the fifth, I could have really possibly done some more worse damage.”
Lester said he felt “sore [and] hurt” and that the discomfort did not subside once he came out of the game.
“Now we have to take action and try and get it better,” he said.
But he claimed not to be worried about the injury being something that could wreck his summer.
“It should be fine, hopefully for the rest of the season. I don’t think it’s a long-term issue," he said.
Keep in mind that virtually every injury this season has lasted longer than the Red Sox initially expected.
Clay Buchholz's bad back, which he said was "no big deal" is now advancing into a third week on the DL and a visit to a specialist tomorrow. Bobby Jenks said he would be a out "a day or two" when he strained a back muscle. He landed on the DL. Terry Francona swore that Daisuke Matsuzaka didn't need Tommy John surgery right up until he did.
The Red Sox will surely announce some sort of news tomorrow. Add two weeks and hope for the best.