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Josh Beckett: thumb injury 'a lot better now'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 4, 2012 05:18 PM

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DETROIT — Josh Beckett said on Wednesday that he has been dealing with discomfort in his right thumb for 18 months and surgery may ultimately be the remedy. But he is not expecting to be limited this season.

“Things are a lot better now,” said the righthander, who will start the second game of the season on Saturday.

Beckett said he had a cortisone shot in the offseason when his thumb continued to bother him. He had a second injection a few weeks ago, but there was no relief of his symptoms.

That’s what led to his visiting a specialist, Dr. Mark Bagg, in San Antonio, Texas on Monday. Then the team had him get examined by Dr. Thomas Graham in Cleveland on Tuesday.

“I had some issues the last few weeks of spring training and we’ve been getting through them,” said Beckett, who did not miss a start in the Grapefruit League, allowing two earned runs in 19 innings. “I just didn’t think it was something we should get through for six months.”

Beckett did not describe the injury beyond saying it was a not a ligament issue.

“I think everything is good,” he said. “It’s something we’ll definitely have to monitor. … We’re just covering the bases as far as after the shot, things didn’t go as smooth as they have in the past.”

Surgery could prove necessary in the offseason.

“Yeah, maybe,” Beckett said. “Just got to play it by ear.”

Manager Bobby Valentine said he is not particularly concerned at this stage.

“The nature of the injury is that it’s really not much of an injury. I would think, because he’s been cleared to pitch and compete and I haven’t been told about any limitations he might have,” he said.

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