ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. ó Josh Beckett said just now his next step would "absolutely" be to throw off the mound as he continues to recover from a sprained right ankle.
Beckett said the idea of throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday or Wednesday and then pitching in a game three days later is realistic as far as he is concerned.
ďItís not my decision.I think the trainers got to be comfortable with where Iím at. I donít see it being too, too much longer," Beckett said. "That sounds reasonable. But like I said, itís not my decision. Obviously theyíre going to have my input. Iím ready to come back when everybody feels good."
Beckett got out to 120 feet today. He also threw fastballs, changeups and breaking pitches from flat ground to test the stability of his ankle.
"I wanted to see how it feels pushing off. Thatís the really big issue, my body weight on it pushing," he said. "It feels a lot better today. Two days ago it was pretty rough."
Beckett provided a little more detail about his injury, saying that the joint itself was sprained, not any ligaments as is the case with a traditional sprained ankle. One of his ligaments, in fact, was severed when he was in middle school. The fluid in the joint is what causes him pain in the form of a pinching sensation.
Beckett said he feared initially that he had partially torn his Achilles tendon. So the fact that he is getting ready to pitch again is a great sign for him.
"When I first came in, it hurt bad. It was really bothering me," he said.
Beckett is confident that the injury will not be an issue if the Sox get to the postseason.
"I'm hoping that this isn't a question mark," he said. "It needs to be 100 percent or at least close to 100 percent whenever I come back because it makes everyone look foolish if you go back out there and hurt it five pitches in. I donít think weíre going to do that. Weíre going to test it off the mound first and figure things out.íí