Injury could potentially keep Schilling out into All-Star break
The team expects the ace right-hander will likely remain out past the first week of July and perhaps through the All-Star break. Schilling said Monday he doesn't even know when he will begin throwing again.
When asked if he would be back in Boston's rotation before the break begins July 9, Schilling said, "You know what? I would like to be back by tomorrow. But they have protocol."
General manager Theo Esptein told reporters Friday that a midseason rest should lead to a stronger late-season Schilling.
The 40-year-old Opening Day starter doesn't buy that reasoning.
"It's easy to analyze that when you are not in uniform and never been in one," Schilling said from the Boston clubhouse as he teammates left for batting practice. "That's a good way to analyze it, I guess. It's different, being in here."
Schilling said he expects to hear Tuesday or Wednesday how the Red Sox medical staff wants his rehabilitation to proceed.
"There's some things they want to do in testing. They want to kind of set milestones in the next couple days to hit before we go to the next phase," he said.
Boston manager Terry Francona said Schilling's throwing program "has been written up. Everyone is on the same page. Just got to go out and do it now."
Schilling went on the 15-day disabled list Friday retroactive to June 19 after two straight poor starts. He rejoined the Red Sox last weekend in San Diego after an MRI exam and cortisone shot in Boston.
"I felt immediate improvement right after I got the shot. But after the shot wears off, you got to start at zero and work from there," he said.
He is doing daily conditioning and arm exercises and "a lot of sitting" until the Red Sox medical staff tells him when he can throw again. Boston will call up Kason Gabbard to start Tuesday for him against Seattle. Gabbard is 7-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket and beat Atlanta in a spot start May 20.
Francona said Gabbard will get at least one more start and that all starters will stay on schedule and get an extra day of rest because of an off day Thursday.
Schilling nearly pitched a no-hitter at Oakland on June 7, giving up a two-out single to Shannon Stewart in the ninth inning. But he hasn't looked the same since. He has allowed 11 earned runs and 19 hits in 9 1/3 innings.
Schilling, 14th on the career strikeout list with 3,086, failed to strikeout anyone June 18 in Atlanta -- the first time that's happened in one of his starts since 1993.
He sounded frustrated with his current idling while his team soars. Boston entered Monday 22 games over .500, at 48-26. That's the best record in the major leagues.
"I mean, they pay me to pitch and win games. And when I am not doing that, it's not fun," he said.
If the Red Sox allow him to resume throwing soon, Schilling thinks he should be able to go directly to pitching in the bullpen instead of a longer process of throwing off flat ground, then resting, then working up to sessions on the mound.
"It hasn't been that long. So I'd imagine if we begin throwing in the next couple days, there won't be a whole lot to get it back up and cranking," he said. "But what we don't want to happen is to get back up and cranking real quickly and be right back where we were two weeks ago."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press