Erin Weaver
Monday April 8th, 2013

In his first game since Tommy John surgery, Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey left early with a right bicep strain. An MRI on Sunday revealed there's no major structural damage to the starting RHP's throwing arm.

Lackey was immediately taken out of the game Saturday, after injuring his arm on a pitch that almost hit Jose Reyes. It looked like a serious setback, with his arm essentially dangling at his side. Lackey missed all of 2012 from Tommy John surgery, and it even looked like  he might have re-torn the ligament.

After seeing the MRI results, Lackey was diagnosed with a mid-biceps strain, which is probably the best-case scenario. There's no timetable for his return for now, but with just a mid-biceps strain, Lackey likely won't be out for more than a month.

Before the mid-biceps strain, Lackey had been steadily improving with each preseason game, showing he wasn't fully back but was getting there. While he might not be on the DL for too long, with this setback, it could be a while before he's playing his best again.

Until he's back, Boston could swap Alfredo Aceves or Allen Webster into the rotation, or Steven Wright if Lackey's time on the DL is extended. https://twitter.com/bradfo/status/321253342271635456

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.