Boston medical

There was good news on the injury front out of the Red Sox clubhouse today, as a number of injured players are making progress toward returning.

  • David Riske may be the player closest to being ready to return to game action. The reliever, who went on the disabled list on April 12 with a lower back strain, threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session today and said he felt “awesome.” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Riske would throw another bullpen session on Sunday and then report to Pawtucket for a rehabilitation stint. The righthander is slated to throw 25 pitches in a game for the PawSox next Wednesday, wait two days, and then make another appearance for Pawtucket.
  • David Wells also threw today, tossing 40 pitches. The burly lefthander, who has been sidelined with a balky right knee since April 1, is scheduled to throw another 40 to 45 pitches off of the mound on Sunday and then up that total to 50 to 60 on Wednesday in anticipation of throwing a simulated game a week from this Saturday. “If everything goes to plan he would pitch on rehabilitation, wherever that is, on [May] 18th,” said Francona.
  • Francona also gave a quick update on Coco Crisp, saying the Sox leadoff hitter was scheduled to have X-rays of his fractured left index finger tomorrow. Francona said that Crisp’s flexibility and range of motion continue to improve. “I think when [the doctors] tell him to go, he’ll go quick,” said Francona.
  • The player making the most dramatic progress is Gabe Kapler. Battling back from a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon he suffered last September rounding second base in Toronto, the affable outfielder said he is now running close to 75 or 80 percent. He was seen doing a number of agility drills out on the Fenway field before the game. Kapler said he is also doing some baseball activities, including throwing, fielding, and batting in the cage. Kapler was reluctant to put a timetable on his return, but seemed optimistic.

    “The last two weeks I’ve made big jumps, significant jumps,” said Kapler. “Both in the way I feel when I wake up in the morning and the way I feel doing activities.”

    Tonight’s lineups:

    Red Sox
    1. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
    2. Mark Loretta, 2B
    3. David Ortiz, DH
    4. Manny Ramirez, LF
    5. Trot Nixon, RF
    6. Jason Varitek, C
    7. Mike Lowell, 3B
    8. Wily Mo Pena, CF
    9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

    P — Matt Clement

    Blue Jays
    1. Russ Adams, SS
    2. Frank Catalanotto, LF
    3. Vernon Wells, CF
    4. Troy Glaus, 3B
    5. Lyle Overbay, DH
    6. Shea Hillenbrand, 1B
    7. Bengie Molina, C
    8. Eric Hinske, RF
    9. Aaron Hill, 2B

    P — Josh Towers

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