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Daisuke Matsuzaka Could Miss Four Weeks With Sprained UCL

Red Sox Medical Director Dr. Tom Gill has diagnosed Daisuke Matsuzaka with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, saying the pitcher will be re-examined in two weeks.

Terry Francona spoke to the media after the statement was released, and stressed that it was unlikely Daisuke would return to the mound immediately after those two weeks were up, instead speculating that it could be as many as four weeks before his return to action:

"We're not even to the point where he's picked up a ball. Normally, the time down - if it's two weeks down, three weeks down, four weeks down - normally that's about what it takes to get back to the mound. You can kind of do the math," said Francona. "If the guy is down three or four weeks and it takes three or four weeks to get back to the mound, you're not going to get on a big league mound real quick."

(Via Alex Speier)

It's no surprise that the Red Sox are handling Daisuke's case delicately. The UCL is, after all, the ligament that has sent multiple pitchers to the disabled list for a year or more following Tommy John Surgery. If Matsuzaka were to undergo such a procedure, he might not be ready to return before the end of his contract with the Red Sox.