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The Boston Globe

Sports

Appreciative John Lackey returns to mound

FORT MYERS, Fla. — For one day at least, it wasn’t about expectations for John Lackey, his spot in the rotation or whether he could live up to his big contract. It was simply a chance to play.

Lackey had gone 515 days without pitching in a real game. His right elbow gave out by the end of the 2011 season, the ulnar collateral ligament so frayed that doctors were surprised he found a way to get the ball to the plate.

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