Dice-K has 'anxiety' about surgery rehab

Updated: June 5, 2011, 6:06 PM ET
By Steven Krasner | Special to ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will have Tommy John ligament replacement surgery at some point this week, spoke briefly with the Boston media Sunday morning.

Matsuzaka hesitated for long stretches before answering questions about his feelings and his often frustrating tenure in Boston in a 10-minute chat, which was interpreted by Kenta Yamada with augmented interpreting by Mikio Yoshimura, the team's Japanese media liaison.

Matsuzaka said he would find out Monday when the surgery would be performed, but it is expected to be done this week by noted Los Angeles orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Matsuzaka was asked why he has opted for surgery instead of following a regiment of rest and rehab, which the Red Sox seemingly preferred.

"I was told the ligament is torn. To fix it perfectly I need surgery. That's why I'm having surgery. It's my first time getting an operation. All I can say is that I am very shocked," Matsuzaka said.

Recovery time generally is anywhere from 12-14 months, which means Matsuzaka, who cost the Red Sox $103.1 million in posting fees and salary, could be ready to return for the last two months or so of his six-year contract, which runs through the 2012 season.

Asked if he thinks he'll be able to pitch again for the Red Sox, Matsuzaka said, "I have a little bit of anxiety. All I can do is do my best [to rehab] and come back to the game as soon as I can."

He also was asked to put his Red Sox career in perspective, especially in light of the fact that he may have thrown his last pitch for the organization.

"I'm not thinking that way," he said. "I want to get back in the game. I'm sure I will come back to the Red Sox. If I don't, I'll talk about it then."

Matsuzaka went 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA this season. In his four-plus years with Boston, he was 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA.

Steven Krasner is a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com.

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