Beckett gets 'good' news

Updated: August 30, 2008, 3:53 PM ET
By Stephania Bell
Friday was a big day for Josh Beckett -- and not on the mound.

The right-handed ace has been experiencing numbness and tingling in his right ring and pinky fingers for some time now, signs that the ulnar nerve is irritated. The ulnar nerve, which wraps around the inside of the elbow near the funny bone, can be stressed with pitching, especially if the ligament there is compromised. That would be the ulnar collateral ligament -- and yes, that's the Tommy John surgery ligament. But inflammation in the elbow, which can simply be a result of overuse and in that case would be far less serious, can also put pressure on the nerve and cause these types of symptoms.

Beckett was concerned by the fact that the numbness was lingering despite a couple of scratched starts and limited throwing activity, so he sought the opinion of Dr. James Andrews, whom he has seen in the past. According to ESPN news reports, Beckett's reasons for consulting with Andrews were simple: "I don't trust anybody more than I trust him when it comes to stuff like that," Beckett said. "Just to go down there and hear it from him. It's something I needed to do, just to clear my mind."