Boston Red Sox: Is Dice-K time in Boston over?

Japanese news agency Nikkan Sports reported this morning that Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has elected to have season-ending Tommy John surgery, and his time in Boston may now be over.

According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, Matsuzaka first experienced pain in his right elbow in a start on April 29 against the Seattle Mariners, during which he was pulled in the fifth due to what Red Sox manager Terry Francona called at the time discomfort in his elbow.

Matsuzaka continued pitching through the discomfort, and on May 16 in  a start against the Baltimore Orioles, Mastuzaka walked seven batter and gave up five hits in just 4 1/3 innings. In that start, Dice-K’s fastball never got above 88 MPH, and he acknowledged his pain after the game.

On May 18, Matsuzaka was placed on the disabled list, and after being evaluated by Red Sox doctors, rest and rehab were prescribed. However, Matsuzaka traveled to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday, and Yocum diagnosed a tear in Matsuzaka’s ulnar collateral ligament.

Dice-K then traveled to Japan to discuss his options with his family, and it was decided that he would indeed undergo Tommy John surgery rather than wait for the elbow to possibly heal on its own.

Matsuzaka only made 37 starts between 2009 and 2010, landing on the DL several times for various injuries.

Dice-K is in the fifth year of a six-year contract, and while it’s conceivable that he could come back late next season, he very well could have made his last pitch in a Red Sox uniform.

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