Matsuzaka downplays back injury

Daisuke Matsuzaka met with reporters today. Here are some of his comments:

On his upper back strain: “For me I wouldn’t go so far to call it an injury really. But I think going into the offseason last year i really didn’t take a break and I got right back into a training program so I think it’s just a little bit of fatigue that built up over that time period.

“Right now I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I think I could throw if I really had to, even now. but I’m going to be seeing the team doctor tomorrow, and then based on that conversation I think we’re gong to have a plan for going forward.”

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Is it frustrating? “I wanted to go into Day 1 of spring training really ready to get after it, and being prepared to throw a lot of pitches. But right now this is something that I have to deal with and I have to bear with it for the time being. But it’s a little bit stressful.”

On his improved communication with the team: “I think so. I think that if a similar situation had happened in the past, I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance. So if I could tolerate the pain and still somehow play through and be able to do what I had to do. I think I would have taken a lot of that on by myself. I definitely don’t want to make the same mistakes that were made last year and so right now I think it’s important for me to talk about my condition and share that with the team in as much detail as possible.”

Goals for season: “I think that once the season starts, my goal is to be able to get through the season injury free. so I really have to put myself in a place where I’m able to do that and be able to prepare for that. once I’m able to do that, I think I can start thinking more about the actual season.”

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