TORONTO — Red Sox pitcher John Lackey walked off the mound in the fifth inning on Saturday clutching his right arm with what appeared to be a significant injury.
The Red Sox announced in the seventh inning that Lackey suffered a right biceps strain.
Lackey is scheduled to return to Boston Sunday to receive an MRI. Both manager John Farrell and Lackey indicated after the game that the symptoms had subsided after Lackey iced. Initial strength tests conducted by the trainers in the clubhouse saw Lackey with decent arm strength.
“Felt a little something tight on the pitch before. But it grabbed me pretty good on the last pitch,” Lackey said.
Asked if he had any other sensations he said, “My hand didn’t go numb like I’ve had with elbow stuff. My strength is pretty good.”
Lackey threw a curveball to Reyes on which he felt the tightness.
The next pitch was well inside and nearly hit Reyes. Lackey immediately grabbed his arm above the elbow and walked off the mound in the direction of second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Manager John Farrell and head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson rushed out to the field and escorted Lackey back to the dugout.
Lackey had struck out Emilio Bonafacio for his eighth strikeout and was pitching very well with no signs of problems before Reyes stepped in. He had allowed a two-run homer to J.P. Arencibia in the fourth inning.
Lackey was making his first start since Sept. 25, 2011. He missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.
Lackey was replaced by Alfredo Aceves.
He was asked what went through his mind when he felt the cramp.
“Year and a half have to do it again,” he said, referencing the rehab he underwent after the surgery. “The tests they ran on me here today looked pretty good. So hopefully get a picture of it tomorrow we can get after it and hopefully it’s nothing too crazy.”
Lackey said the arm started to feel much better as he left the game and was inside the clubhouse being worked on.
Teammates Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester came over to him for support, and the two pitchers felt much better about what they saw after Lackey settled their fears.
“It got better when I got inside. It kind of loosened up. Like I said, felt like a pretty good cramp,” Lackey said. “Like a hamstring kind of thing I’ve had before. I would liken it to that.”