John Lackey remains on the Red Sox roster. But it’s unclear for how long.
The righthander, who left the mound in the fifth inning on Saturday with a bicep strain, is “unlikely” to make his scheduled start on Friday according to manager John Farrell. But beyond that, the Red Sox offered little information.
“He’s improved,” Farrell said. “He’s still on a 48-72 hour recovery period. There’s no roster move to announce of any kind right now. The most encouraging thing though [is] following the MRI, it showed some inflammation in the bicep. That’s been it.”
Farrell said there is no tear in the muscle. Lackey will be examined again today. Then the Sox will figure where they go from there.
Because of the day off on Tuesday, the Sox would not need a fifth starter until Sunday.
Farrell said that before Lackey gets back on the mound, he would have to go through “a good test of some sort.” That could be an extended bullpen session or a simulated game.
If Lackey cannot start on Sunday, Farrell indicated that Alfredo Aceves would be the choice.
• David Ortiz will play in an intrasquad game in Fort Myers, Fla., today. He is expected to play three games in Florida before joining Pawtucket on Thursday to start a rehab assignment.
• Jackie Bradley Jr. is out of the lineup for the first time as Daniel Nava starts in left field against Orioles’ lefty Wei-Yin Chen.
Nava is a switch hitter. But he has hit only .191/.302/.318 batting righthanded in his career. Bradley, a lefty hitter, is 1 for 6 against lefties this season.
“Over the last couple of three games, he’s been getting pitched to pretty consistently,” Farrell said. “Felt like against another very good lefthander, it was a chance to get Nava’s righthanded bat in there along with [Jonny Gomes] as the DH. That’s where we are on that.”
• LHP Franklin Morales (lower back) is scheduled for an inning in an extended spring training game on Tuesday. He will pitch in three extended games before starting a rehab assignment.
• LHP Craig Breslow (shoulder) is scheduled for a one-inning stint in extended spring training this weekend.