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Matsuzaka to pitch for Pawtucket on Saturday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 24, 2012 03:57 PM

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And suddenly Daisuke Matsuzaka is ready to pitch.

The Red Sox announced moments ago that Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch for Pawtucket on Saturday night against Toledo.

Matsuzaka was nearing the end of a 30-day minor league injury rehabilitation assignment when the Red Sox said last Saturday that he had pain in his right trapezius muscle and had received a cortisone injection.

That ended his rehabilitation stint and allowed the Red Sox to keep the righthander on the disabled list. They were facing a deadline to activate him.

That Matsuzaka had not pitched particularly well in the minors was probably no coincidence.

Now comes word that Matsuzaka will be restarting his minor league assignment. It's probably not a huge coincidence that Daniel Bard threw a bunch of 91-mph fastballs at the Orioles Wednesday and looks nothing like, well, Daniel Bard.

It's anybody's guess how long it will take Matsuzaka to get ready to appear in a major league game. On Monday, he didn't seem too optimistic.

ďIíve said this before. I donít want to, and I donít think I can, pitch until Iím at 100 percent physically and mentally. Thatís the type of patience I need to continue working with,Ē he said.

But, in theory, he could be ready to come back to the Red Sox as early as next week.

Also, Darnell McDonald will start his rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Friday. He is on the DL with an oblique strain.

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