Back tightness for Matsuzaka?

February, 16, 2010
2/16/10
5:33
PM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Daisuke Matsuzaka was back in camp Tuesday after tending to personal business in Boston but never made an appearance on the practice field. He left after working out inside and speaking briefly with Japanese reporters.

According to translations, the Kyodo News and the Japanese sports web site Sponichi Annex reported a few days ago that Matsuzaka, who was an early arrival here, had skipped his throwing session at the end of last week because of tightness in his back, and his no-show on the field Tuesday would suggest that the condition had not improved sufficiently to resume throwing. The Japanese media outlets had reported that the Red Sox were aware of the condition, though Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein did not mention it while discussing Matsuzaka with reporters on Monday.

Matsuzaka’s health remains a sensitive issue after last season, in which the Sox sent him back to Fort Myers in midseason because of a tired shoulder, brought on in part, they felt, because he was not in acceptable shape. Matsuzaka also revealed after the season that he had injured his groin the previous January and did not inform the Red Sox of the injury, even though they inquired repeatedly about his health.

Update: A source familiar with the situation told WEEI.com that Matsuzaka will be slightly delayed in his schedule by back stiffness or a strain. According to the report, the Red Sox will evaluate Matsuzaka's condition over the next few days to determine when Matsuzaka will begin throwing.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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