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Josh Beckett On Track For Return In Late July

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According to Terry Francona, Josh Beckett -- out with a lower back strain since May 19 -- should be ready to start on his rehab schedule in just over a week. With Beckett expected to make three or four rehab starts in the minor leagues, that schedule could have Beckett pitching in the Majors before July is finished.

Beckett has been on the disabled list since he was pulled during the fifth inning of the May 18 game against the Yankees with back tightness. Early on in the recovery process, the Red Sox decided to slow things down after Beckett was seen to have trouble repeating his delivery. Having been eligible to come off the disabled list since June 3, it seems this delay will ultimately cost the Red Sox nearly two months of starts out of Beckett.

Beckett had struggled through the early parts of the season to the tune of a 7.29 ERA over eight starts.

The hard-throwing righty signed a new four-year deal with the team one day after he allowed five runs in under five innings on Opening Day.