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Red Sox have a decision to make on Tyler Thornburg

Tyler Thornburg, who was with the Red Sox at spring training, has not pitched in the majors since 2016.
Tyler Thornburg, who was with the Red Sox at spring training, has not pitched in the majors since 2016.John Minchillo/AP/Associated Press

With the 30-day window on relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg’s second rehab assignment coming to a close soon, the Red Sox will have to decide whether there’s a role for the 29-year-old righthander in their bullpen.

Thornburg has been on the disabled list since the start of the season after offseason surgery on his right shoulder. He started his first rehab assignment April 30 before being shut down in May after nine appearances. He started his second rehab stint June 2 and has appeared in seven games. He has yet to clear the hurdles of pitching on back-to-back days and throwing more than one inning.

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The plan is to have him throw two innings with Double A Portland on Wednesday, fly with the Sox to New York, then throw one inning with Triple A Pawtucket Saturday.

“We’ve been talking about the way we’re going to use him and what he can do in a big-league bullpen,” manager Alex Cora said. “Today we sat down, everybody, and we decided — and he agreed with — going two tomorrow is very important.

“So we’ll see how he rebounds from that one and hopefully he can pitch on Saturday and he’s OK and we’ll make a decision.”


Julian Benbow can be reached at jbenbow@globe.com.