Realistically, that would seem to indicate that the earliest Beckett would be back in the rotation is the latter portion of June.
Beckett has been out since May 19 with a lower back strain. He threw an abbreviated side session on Friday, but had a hard time repeating his delivery. That was when the club decided that things needed to slow down, or else Beckett could risk injuries that went beyond his back.
"We sat down with him today," Francona said. "We wanted to spend some time with him where things weren't rushed. We're going to slow him down a little bit. By that, probably, I don't know if we're going to have a firm timetable, but probably about 10 days."
It has been a tough season for Beckett, who is 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA. Though the Red Sox still expect big things from him, they don't think that rushing him back is going to do anyone any good.
"What we talked about the other day in the bullpen, the inconsistencies in his delivery, all of a sudden, when he's doing that, we're running into some lat discomfort, which we're not comfortable with," Francona said. "We lean on this guy too much, and we need to. So until we can completely get back where he's going through his delivery, we're going to make him take it easy."
Beckett wasn't available for comment before Wednesday's game against the Oakland Athletics. Tim Wakefield will again pitch in Beckett's spot on Thursday, and for the foreseeable future.
"I think [Beckett] understands it," Francona said. "I don't think he probably loves it. I think he realizes this is where his best interest ends up probably being our best interest, so we're going to be pretty firm about this."
Until Beckett can resume throwing, he will try to make the best of the situation.
"He can do a lot of things, but when we get him back out there throwing, we don't want him making any adjustments to his delivery, to his arm slot, because that's where we run into problems," Francona said.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less