05/31/08 7:58 PM ET
Dice-K to put time on DL to good use
MRI confirms that shoulder injury is not serious
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
"While I appreciate the rest and the protection I'm getting, I do feel bad that I'm the only one getting rest at this time," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Masa Hoshino. "But dwelling on that too much isn't going to help me heal any faster. It's too bad. No matter how hard I work right now, it won't affect the outcome of the game. But I'm going to treat this next little while as a mini-camp and do my best to get better."
Matsuzaka probably would emphasize the "mini" part of that statement. His DL stint expires on June 12, and he left no doubt that he plans on being able to pitch right around that date.
"I believe I'll be able to do that," he said.
The MRI performed on Friday confirmed what Matsuzaka thought -- that nothing was seriously wrong with his shoulder.
"After I came off the mound in my last start, I wasn't overly concerned personally," he said. "But just to have the exams done, and to know for sure that everything is fine, is a relief."
Though Matsuzaka got out for a run on Saturday, much of the work he'll do over the next few days will be indoors.
"I think I'll be working with the trainers on the shoulder training program and shoulder treatment program," he said, "and doing the actual shoulder program itself with a little more frequency and then using the time to really rest up and, based on how I feel, try to get back out there throwing the ball."
Manager Terry Francona reiterated that the Red Sox will make sure Matsuzaka is fully ready to start throwing again before he does.
"I think we want to make sure he's real strong," Francona said. "Then, when the strength is there, he can throw as much as he wants. He loves to throw. But we want to not only get that strength but maintain it. Because that's [what] will give him a chance to pitch the rest of the year. That's kind of where we are. We talked about it yesterday and will continue to."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.