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John Lackey to have Tommy John surgery

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  October 25, 2011 03:43 PM

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New Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said today that pitcher John Lackey will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2012 season.

Lackey had elbow soreness during the season, and recently saw a specialist, Dr. Lewis Yocum.

"John Lackey will go ahead and have Tommy John surgery," Cherington said during the news conference at which he was introduced as the successor to Theo Epstein, who has left to become president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs.

"John Lackey pitched through circumstances this year that I don't think any of us can fully understand, and he got beat up for it along the way," said Cherington. "He was dealing with some stuff both on the field and off the field that were really difficult. I thought he showed tremendous toughness pitching through that. That game he pitched in New York at the end of the season where he helped us as we were grinding away for every win we could, I thought got overshadowed by how the season ended.

"He's really excited about the future. Certainly anxious about the surgery and getting that done and the rehab. He knows that he's a much better pitcher than what he showed in 2011. I believe he's going to be much better pitcher than what he showed. We look forward to having him as a part of the staff, likely in 2013."

Lackey was 12-12 in 2011 with a 6.41 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

According to the Globe's Nick Cafardo: Lackey’s contract has a clause that states if the pitcher misses time because of Tommy John surgery on his elbow, the club has an option for a sixth year at the league minimum salary.

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