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Farrell says Lackey’s initial diagnosis is hopeful

TORONTO — Here's what John Farrell had to say about John Lackey:

"Strained right bicep. Felt kind of a cramping sensation. Obviously we took him out immediately. But once he was in the clubhouse here, he iced it down [and] that cramping went away. The strength test, at least in the training room, showed to be positive in terms of full strength. But we're going to get him back [to Boston] and get a full exam, likely tomorrow."

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Lackey seemed to be flexing his arm before he got hurt: "Saw the movement. At the time he didn't feel like it was anything to be alarmed by. He did acknowledge that he felt just something there. Nothing compared to what that last pitch he threw. Obviously when he grabbed it as he did it was a clear sign we had to get him out of there."

Anything with his elbow? "No, elbow is fine. This is in the belly of the bicep. So it's kind of, I would say, an abnormal area for a guy to feel that grabbing sensation on one pitch. I think the encouraging thing is as he came out of the game, the soreness and the cramping feeling have subsided."

How tough was that to see happen? "Particularly in his case, what he has gone through. But any time you see a pitcher on one pitch grab it, it's obviously not a good sign. So hopefully through the testing that he'll go through, we'll get certainly more information. At least following the game there's some positive that's coming out of it with the symptoms as they've decreased."

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About how Lackey pitched: "He looked sharp. He had good action to his secondary stuff. The velocity was probably the best we've seen to date. He was free and easy. He threw all his pitches for strikes. He gets a cutter up in the zone to Arencibia. Well aware of what he can do with a pitch that's up in the strike zone. Other than that, he pitched out of a couple of jams with some men on base. I think into that [fifth] inning, overall, he was pitching as [well] as we could have ever anticipated or hoped."

How was Lackey when he came off the field? "Any time a pitcher walks off in the middle of an at-bat, there's always concern. We've just got to get all the information we can tomorrow."

Who would replace him in the rotation? "I think it's probably best at this point, we've got to get through tomorrow and then factor everything in that we do get information from."

Still concerned about the severity of the injury? "Well, he came out of the game. So we've just got to get every test and run him through the appropriate exam. We'll put out heads together once we get all that information. He'll have an MRI."

Given how it looked, is the initial diagnosis positive? "In the testing that he went through in the training room after some time elapsed, the manual testing in here showed good strength, almost full strength. So there is some initial positive signs here. But we can't rule anything out and that's why the exam will take place. ... As he described, it's almost like he had what guys feel in their hamstrings when they get tight or cramp up. That's the sensation he felt in the bicep. ... We'll see what transpires."

Here is what John Lackey said after the game:

How do you feel? "It felt like a pretty good cramp. It's all in the bicep, wasn't elbow. Pretty frustrating, a little scary when it happened for sure."

Feeling better about it now? "It's sore. But hopefully not too serious."

Did you feel something on the pitch before? "Felt a little something tight on the pitch before. But it grabbed me pretty good on the last pitch."

Arm was dangling as you walked off. Was there pain? "My hand didn't go numb or anything like that like I've had with the elbow stuff. It was pretty much right in the belly of the bicep."

How encouraged were you with how you were pitching? "I felt really good. Really made one mistake. I was pounding the strike zone pretty well, had some strikeouts. Felt like my stuff was pretty good."

How concerned are you? "I don't know. I'll just see what happens tomorrow when I checked out."

What went through your mind initially? "A year and a half of getting to this point and having to do it again. Yeah."

Worried muscle might be torn? "The tests they ran on me here today looked pretty good. So hopefully get a picture of it tomorrow we can get after it and hopefully it's nothing too crazy."

How long afterward did it feel better? "It got better when I got inside. It kind of loosened up. Like I said, felt like a pretty good cramp. Like a hamstring kind of thing I've had before. I would liken it to that."

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