Wakefield returned to Boston on Sunday for a cortisone shot after cutting short a throwing session the previous day. The 42-year-old right-hander experienced some stiffness while holding Kansas City to four hits over six innings in an 8-2 win on Wednesday.
"We took him out a little early the other night," Francona said before the Red Sox lost to the White Sox 6-5 on Sunday. "He was getting stiffer and stiffer as the game progressed. It was getting hard to get loose. He was still throwing great."
The Red Sox are taking a cautious approach with Wakefield, who missed the AL Division Series and World Series last year with a similar injury.
"We're trying to not have this thing get to the point where it did last year," Francona said.
Wakefield, 7-8 with a 3.67 ERA, was scheduled to start Tuesday, but the Red Sox will call up a minor leaguer instead. Francona said Bartolo Colon, on the disabled list since June 17 with a stiff lower back, is not ready to return yet.
Also on Sunday, the Red Sox scratched first baseman Kevin Youkilis from the lineup because of a sore left shoulder.