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Lester hopes to make next start

9/26/2009 - MLB Jon Lester Boston Red Sox + more

About 16 hours after being struck by a stinging line drive on his right knee, Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox were relieved that his knee is responding well to the medical treatment.

"It's still attached, so we're going in the right direction,'' Lester joked. "It's not swollen too bad. As of now I'm planning to make my next start. I would like to get up on the mound again.''

Manager Terry Francona was equally encouraged by Lester's progress on Saturday.

"All things considered, he looks pretty good,' Francona said.

The Red Sox have Lester scheduled to make one last regular season start on Thursday at Fenway Park against Cleveland. However, the team's brass is reserving judgment and could push Lester back a day or even two if the medical staff deems it could help Lester's recovery.

"As of right now I'm planning to make my next start,'' Lester said. "I would like to get on the mound again before the end of the season.''

Lester's knee was tightly wrapped with a protective sleeve on Saturday morning. He said he is sporting a baseball-sized bruise on the side of the knee and has been icing it all morning. He also planned to ride a stationary bicycle in order to get movement in the knee.

"If it gets worse I'll be behind the 8-ball,'' said Lester, who was hit hard by the Yankees Friday night, allowing five runs in 2 1/3 innings.

If Lester is forced to be pushed back a day or two it could alter the Red Sox's tentative plan to start him in a potential Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels and move Josh Beckett into the Game 1 role.

Pedro Gomez is a reporter for ESPN.