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Daisuke Matsuzaka’s injury “consistent with UCL sprain”

Red Sox starting pitcher Matsuzaka throws a practice pitch after he was hit by a line drive during their MLB American League game against the Orioles in Boston

(R-L) Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws a practice pitch as manager Terry Francona, a team trainer, Dustin Pedroia, Jed Lowrie and Kevin Youkilis look on after Matsuzaka was hit by a line drive during the first inning in their MLB American League baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts May 16, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)


Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the disabled list yesterday with an elbow injury and today the Red Sox announced that an MRI exam revealed “elbow tightness consistent with a UCL sprain and flexor mass strain.”

Alex Speier of reports that Matsuzaka will be re-examined again in two weeks, but UCL sprains often end up requiring Tommy John elbow surgery that would knock him out for 12-18 months.

For now there’s no reason to assume that Matsuzaka will need to go under the knife--and the Red Sox indicated to Speier that they’re relieved to have caught the problem relatively early--but he won’t be rejoining the rotation any time soon.