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05/06/2011 - 5:22pm
Matsuzaka: 'I will be ready' on Sunday

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had his scheduled start on Wednesday pushed back two days after experiencing elbow stiffness during his start last Friday, and then who had his rescheduled start pushed back two more days after he made his first career relief appearance when pressed into duty in Wednesday's 13-inning marathon, said that his elbow will be fine for his scheduled start on Sunday against the Twins.

“As to my elbow, it is getting better, gradually getting better, so as the game is scheduled, I will be ready for the game,” he said through a translator.

Matsuzaka ended up suffering the loss in Wednesday's extra-innings contest against the Angels, when he made his first career relief appearance and allowed two runs. It was a challenging contest, in some respects, to prepare for, since Matsuzaka had already thrown a side session and iced that afternoon as part of his usual between-starts throwing schedule. That said, the right-hander was...

05/06/2011 - 4:22pm
Ainge: 'I believe Shaq's playing' in Game 3

Celtics president Danny Ainge was a guest on The Big Show Friday afternoon and he said that yes, he believes that Shaquille O'Neal will be ready to play Saturday when the Celtics resume their series with Miami. "I think Shaq is going to give it a go tomorrow," Ainge said. "We'll see. I believe Shaq's playing tomorrow." 

Asked about expectations for him, Ainge said it was impossible to predict. "I don't know the answer to that yet," Ainge said. "It will be determined by how well he plays and how effective he is and how he feels."

Reminded that there was skepticism that Shaq would play after so many false starts, Ainge said, "I think all those times there was some hope because he was making progress but I see more in him right now than any of those times. I understand. I can't sit here and say 100 percent either. I'm not skeptical of what I'm saying but there's no certainty until you see him out there...

05/06/2011 - 3:18pm
Pedroia returns, Salty catches

One day after sitting out of the Red Sox lineup for the first time all year, Dustin Pedroia is back in his customary second spot against the Twins and starter Scott Baker. Carl Crawford is back in the eighth spot in the batting order, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be paired with Tim Wakefield after being paired successfully with the knuckleballer for his impressive start (5 2/3 innings, one run) on Sunday.

For matchup information on how the Sox have handled Baker and how the Twins have fared against Tim Wakefield, visit the Full Count blog. For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.

RED SOX LINEUP

Ellsbury, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Gonzalez, 1B
Youkilis, 3B
Ortiz, DH
Drew, RF
Lowrie, SS
Crawford, LF
...

05/06/2011 - 2:14pm
Leetch on M&M: 'No comeback' for Flyers

NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday afternoon to talk about the Bruins, who will attempt to close out the Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday night.

"I would say there'll be no comeback this year, but I don't know what's going to happen tonight," Leetch said.

Tim Thomas is the clear-cut MVP of this series, and Leetch said his ability to be far superior to whomever is in the Flyers net makes a comeback highly unlikely. "He's the biggest difference-maker in this series," Leetch said of Thomas. "I think the teams are pretty well-matched, pretty even others. If he continue to play this way, I can't see Philly getting back and winning this in seven.

"Whether they win or not, I don't know. All the games have a tendency to be close when both goaltenders are playing well. But the chance that Philly's goaltenders are able to win in four straight, I...

05/06/2011 - 12:37pm
Pierce returns to practice: 'I feel good'

Paul Pierce returned to practice on Friday after sitting out Thursday's session to rest his strained left Achilles injury that he suffered in the first quarter of Game 2 in Miami on Tuesday. He said that he's feeling better after receiving treatment that included ice, massage and electric stim.

"I actually feel good about this," Pierce said. "Once you turn 30 your body comes back a little bit slower. I was able to come back into the game that night and really had no further ill effects from it after the game or yesterday or today. I’m very confident." 

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.
 


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