Beckett throws side session

Beckett throws side session

BOSTON -- Red Sox ace Josh Beckett threw a side session before Friday night's game, marking the first time he has done so since being placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain on May 19.

While the righty is eligible to be activated on Thursday, the Red Sox aren't yet ready to say he'll be cleared to pitch that soon. Boston is fortunate to have a highly-dependable starter filling Beckett's spot in the rotation in veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

"He ended up throwing 22, 25 pitches," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "Where that leads, we hope it's good. I don't know. If there's any hesitancy, we're going to be cautious with him. I think we need to be. I think the good news is that he was able to throw a side [session]. That's good. But we don't want this to turn into something it shouldn't, so we're going to keep a close eye on it."

What is next for Beckett?

"It depends on how he feels," Francona said. "If we force this, it's going to be wrong. We just need to see how he feels and how he responds."