Globe colleague Nick Cafardo is reporting that Daisuke Matsuzaka will start against the Nationals on Saturday.
Matsuzaka made his sixth minor-league rehab start on Tuesday night, going 1.1 innings and throwing 40 pitches for Triple-A Pawtucket against Indianapolis. The Red Sox had planned for him to go three innings.
Matsuzaka allowed a run on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He had a rough first inning, allowing a run on two hits and two walks while throwing 31 pitches.
The Red Sox cut Matsuzaka short so that he would be available to start on Saturday in place of Daniel Bard, who was demoted on Tuesday after a series of rocky performances.
Matsuzaka is on the 60-day disabled list, but that is retroactive to the start of the season and he is eligible to return. Matsuzaka last pitched for the Red Sox on May 16, 2011. He underwent Tommy John elbow surgery a few weeks later.