The look on Terry Francona’s face was even more reassuring than what he said. When asked about how Jon Lester is doing the morning after he was drilled in the about the inside of his right knee by a line drive, Francona smiled.
“Lester’s actually doing pretty well,” Francona said. “He showed up, and he’s got a nice bruise. He knows he got hit there.”
The Red Sox seem optimistic Lester will make his next start on schedule. He is slated to pitch Thursday against the Cleveland Indians. Lester could even joke about the injury.
“It’s all right,” he said. “It’s still attached. So we’re going in the right direction.”
His good mood aside, Lester still feels some pain. There is a bruise and a big red mark, he said — no seam marks, though.
“Yeah, it still hurts.” Lester said. “It’ll be all right. It’s not swollen too bad. It’s just a little red mark right now. Like i said, everything’s going in the right direction.”
Lester is confident he’ll make his next start, but he hinted he may change his start from Thursday. If he pitches later, the Sox may choose to wait until Game 2 to pitch him and start Josh Beckett in Game 1 instead.
“Yeah I think so, unless there’s any speed bumps along the way,” Lester said. “But I think we have some flexibility in days as far as which day we’re able to pitch. I think I should be able to start one more time before the end of the season.”
The Red Sox would like to keep Lester on his regular schedule, but they will make an adjustment to his preparation for the postseason if the contusion on his right quadriceps demands it.
“We’ll monitor him the next couple days,” Francona said. “This time of year, they don’t always throw a side, anyway. So that doesn’t necessarily get in the way. And we’re certainly not going to let him pitch if he’s hobbling around out there. But he doesn’t necessarily have to do a side day tomorrow, either. He looked pretty good. He’s doing alright.”