Lefty could miss more than a month
BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher David Wells went on the disabled list with a sprained right foot on Tuesday and is expected to miss at least a month.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the 41-year-old left-hander won't need surgery. Instead, Wells will rest for a week before meeting with his doctors to discuss a rehabilitation program.
"There's no timetable. I've got my foot in a boot right now. We'll just let it take its course," Wells said during Tuesday night's game against the Orioles. "I've sprained it before, but not to the point where I've been on the DL. This one's a little more severe than the last one."
The Red Sox signed the hefty lefty over the winter to a contract that guarantees him $8.15 million over two years. He would earn an additional $200,000 per start from 11 to 20 and $300,000 per start from 21 to 30.
He has made five starts -- two bad ones, two good ones and another bad one on Monday night when he was injured in the fourth inning of an 8-4 loss to Baltimore.
"That's what my contract is -- incentive-loaded. There's nothing I can do," he said. "I signed the contract. Now I have to deal with it."
Francona said Wells will be sidelined for up to six weeks, but team physician Dr. Thomas Gill said in a statement, "There is no exact timeframe for his return."
"We expect him to be able to maintain his fitness activities and baseball training throughout the period of his rehab," Gill said.
Wells hobbled back to the mound after trying to field Javy Lopez's slow roller. He remained in the game for five more batters before leaving.
Wells (2-3) gave up six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings Monday. He entered the game with a 15-inning scoreless string over his prior two starts, both Boston shutouts.
Wade Miller is scheduled to make his next rehabilitation start Thursday night at Pawtucket against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; he could wind up filling in for Wells long-term. Miller, signed as a free agent despite a frayed rotator cuff in his right arm, could be ready to pitch for the Red Sox on May 8 against Seattle.
Wells started Boston's season opener at New York because Curt Schilling wasn't ready after offseason ankle surgery. Wells was 12-8 with a 3.73 ERA last season with San Diego.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press