Papelbon returns to Boston's bullpen

Papelbon returns to Boston's bullpen

BOSTON -- Closer Jonathan Papelbon reclaimed his seat in Boston's bullpen Friday after being away from the team the past four days to deal with a personal matter.

Papelbon knows that family comes first, but admits it wasn't easy being a spectator. His loss was felt on Thursday night when Daniel Bard couldn't convert the save in the bottom of the ninth.

"Yeah, it was [tough]," Papelbon said. "It was tough seeing it, and when you know that you have personal business that you need to take care of, which comes before anything else in your life. It's tough to see that your teammates are out there grinding it out and doing everything they can. You just wish you could be out there with them helping out. It's tough, but at the same time, you realize what's important in your life, and family comes before anything."

During Boston's four-game series in Cleveland, Papelbon came to Fenway Park and kept himself in pitching shape. He will be available if the Red Sox need him on Friday night.

"It's just like any other night," Papelbon said. "When you're put in a position where we're ahead, and I can come here and do my job, I'm always excited for that."