FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Lackey is in the early stages of rehabilitating his right elbow after Tommy John surgery. He acknowledged he won't return in 2012, but he believes the procedure will get him back to being the pitcher he once was.
"I had to have it done. There was no choice," Lackey said. "Dr. (Thomas) Gill told me I had one of the biggest bone spurs he'd ever seen and of course the damage that led to the Tommy John surgery."
Lackey said he pitched in pain for two years.
"At least when this is over I'm looking forward to pitching healthy again," he said. "For sure I'm going to miss competing and being out there, but this had to be done."
Lackey is throwing from 45 feet every other day for the time being.
"It's not much, but it's a start," he said. "Not throwing it very hard, but it's a long process and I have to go through all the progressions and steps."
Unlike Daisuke Matsuzaka and Rich Hill, both of whom are currently recovering from TJ surgery, Lackey said he will be with the team in Boston during his rehab process.