Joel Hanrahan’s first season pitching for the Red Sox is about to be over.
Dr. James Andrews examined the righthander on Friday and found tearing in the flexor muscle tendon. Hanrahan now has to decide whether to have season-ending surgery or try a course of extended rest and rehabilitation.
Hanrahan returned to Fenway Park during a 5-0 victory against the Blue Jays. Hanrahan is expected to meet with team officials this weekend and determine his next move. Surgery, several major league sources said, is likely.
“At some point there’s got to be a decision as to which course he’s going to take to rectify the situation,” manager John Farrell said.
The non-surgical approach still means at least 10-12 weeks on the disabled list with no guarantee of success.
Most pitchers, teammate Ryan Dempster and Yankees lefthander Andy Pettitte being two examples, have come back and pitched well after the surgery. The rehabilitation period is six months.
The injury could not be more poorly timed for the 31-year-old Hanrahan, who will be a free agent after the season. He avoided arbitration in January, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $7.04 million.
Hanrahan spoke to Farrell after his examination. According to the manager, there is no sign of damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. But the exact state of the ligament would not be fully known until — or unless — surgery is done.
Hanrahan had a similar injury in 2009, albeit to a far lesser degree. But he passed a physical after being traded to the Red Sox in December.
Hanrahan has appeared in nine games, posting a 9.82 earned run average. He converted four of six save chances.
Andrew Bailey, who is on the disabled list with a strained biceps, has thrown the last two days and shown improvement.
“It’s getting there,” he said.
Bailey is eligible to be activated on Tuesday. But he is still building up to pitching off the mound and will not be ready then. The Sox have not yet decided whether Bailey will require a minor league rehabilitation appearance.
“He’s making anticipated progress,” Farrell said. “There’s no date marked for his return.”
Waiting on Doubront
The Sox are off on Monday and will take the opportunity to skip struggling lefthander Felix Doubront in the rotation.
John Lackey will start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday and Doubront will next pitch against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
Doubront is 3-1 with a 6.40 ERA and has shown a sharp decrease in the velocity of his fastball. In his last two appearances he has given up 12 earned runs on 23 hits over nine innings.
Farrell said Doubront would take the extra time to work on his mechanics.
“But this is not an overhaul by any means,” Farrell said. “We’re reviewing everything that goes into his five-day work routine.”
Farrell said the work on Doubront is two-fold: The Sox are trying to determine whether his velocity can be improved and, if not, how he can succeed with what he does have.
That Doubront threw 105 pitches in relief on Wednesday was a sign that his issues are not health related.
“That’s what’s a little perplexing in all this,” Farrell said. “You try to pinpoint one thing that might lead to come reduction in velocity. But we’re still working at that.”
Clearing the air
Blue Jays broadcaster Jack Morris sought out Clay Buchholz before the game. The two shook hands and spoke for several minutes.
Morris accused Buchholz of doctoring the baseball May 1 after Buchholz threw seven shutout innings in Toronto, allowing two hits and striking out eight.
Morris offered little comment other than to say he and Buchholz “were cool” and that he explained his side of the issue.
Buchholz (6-0 with a 1.60 ERA) is scheduled to start against the Blue Jays on Saturday.
Ortiz in slump
David Ortiz was 0 for 3 with an intentional walk Friday. He is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, leaving 16 runners on base and getting only three balls out of the infield . . . The Sox are now 5-2 against the Blue Jays, outscoring them, 44-20 . . . Toronto has been shut out four times this season. The Jays have lost three straight, seven of 10, and 11 of 15 . . . Shane Victorino is 10 of 28 (.357) since missing seven games with a strained lower back.
The Red Sox-Yankees game on June 2 in New York has been shifted to 8:06 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN2. The game will move to ESPN if the NBA Western Conference semifinals go fewer than seven games . . . It was 72 degrees at first pitch, the warmest it has been at Fenway this season.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.