CHICAGO - Tim Wakefield has been cleared to start tomorrow afternoon's game here against the Chicago White Sox, manager Terry Francona announced this afternoon.
Wakefield, who has battled back issues and received a cortisone shot last week to alleviate pain and stiffness in his back, should have no restrictions placed on him, but the Red Sox are curious to see how he responds to this outing and whether he can make his start every five days.
The only issue unresolved, at least publicly, is who will catch him. The Sox brought back Wakefield's personal catcher, George Kottaras, when the rosters expanded Sept. 1, but Victor Martinez caught his last start and caught him very well. Francona was trying to determine Chicago's other scheduled starting pitchers for the weekend before making a final decision. Francona said he has to weigh taking Martinez's All-Star bat out of the lineup and the benefits of Kottaras's familiarity with Wakefield.