13 Sep 2009

Red Sox pitcher returns from injury layoff

2:50 pm on 13 September 2009

The Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his first Major League start in nearly three months next week as he returns from injury.

Matsuzaka, who has been troubled by shoulder problems most of the season, is scheduled to face the Los Angeles Angels at home on Tuesday.

The Japanese right-hander, who has not pitched for Boston since June 19, finished a minor league rehabilitation assignment last week, yielding three hits and one run in six-plus innings.

With knuckleballer Tim Wakefield slowed by back problems, the Red Sox need Matsuzaka's return as soon as possible as they try to hold off the Texas Rangers in the race for the American League wild-card playoff spot.

Matsuzaka posted a 18-3 record for Boston in 2008, but beset by shoulder problems he has gone 1-5 this season, including two stints on the disabled list.