http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/r ... _rib_cage/
Wakefield out with stress fracture in rib cage
The Red Sox will have to make do without pitcher Tim Wakefield for at least three weeks, after extensive tests revealed he has a stress fracture in his rib cage, a source with direct knowledge of the injury confirmed.
General manager Theo Epstein would not comment when asked about Wakefield's condition, but the knuckleballer, who turns 40 Aug. 2, is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Tuesday, the day after he pitched just four innings, leaving after complaining of pain in the area. The source didn't know what caused the injury but said the condition has existed for some time.
Wakefield, who was not available for comment yesterday, said earlier that his back began bothering him June 3 against the Tigers. As recently as July 1, Wakefield threw 112 pitches in Florida. Scheduled to start last Thursday in the team's first game after the All-Star break, Wakefield was pushed back to Monday in hopes that rest would be beneficial. An MRI of his spine taken in Chicago July 7 was negative, but additional tests, including a bone scan and CAT scan, were performed this week when the pain persisted.
The loss of Wakefield comes at a time when the Sox are already without starting pitchers David Wells (knee), Matt Clement (biceps), and Lenny DiNardo (neck). Wakefield has a record of 7-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 19 starts, and the club is 11-8 in games in which he has pitched. His 119 2/3 innings rank third on the staff, behind Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett.
The Sox had put off placing Wakefield on the DL for a couple of reasons: They were awaiting a definitive analysis of the tests, and they also wanted Epstein to have more time to explore trades without clubs gaining leverage upon learning of Wakefield's injury.
Barring a trade, the Sox plan to promote lefthander Kason Gabbard from Triple A Pawtucket. Gabbard, a 29th-round draft pick out of Indian River Community College in Florida in 2000, was something of a sleeper in the Sox' system, going 9-2 at Double A Portland before his promotion to Pawtucket last month. The lefthander is expected to start Saturday in Seattle.
``Nobody has said a word to me," said a smiling Gabbard yesterday in Pawtucket, R.I. ``It's not something I can really think about until someone actually says it. Anybody in my position would love to get up to the big leagues and pitch. I've dreamed about that forever. It would be an honor, but you don't want to get your hopes up and then not see it happen."