Beckett feeling better day after being hit by ball

Beckett feeling better day after being hit by ball

Beckett feeling better day after being hit by ball
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The day after suffering mild concussion symptoms after a batting-practice mishap, Josh Beckett was back at City of Palms Park, and in pretty good spirits.

While there was clearly a chance that Beckett's next Grapefruit League start -- originally scheduled for Thursday -- could be moved back, the Red Sox right-hander appeared to dodge a serious injury when he was hit in the side of the head by a batted ball.

"I feel all right," said Beckett. "[I'm] feeling better today. I feel like I got hit in the head. I think getting rid of some of the headache stuff that I had yesterday is probably good. I haven't really tried to do anything today. Yesterday was kind of nerve-wracking, because going up and down stairs was pretty tough."

After conferring with the Red Sox's medical staff on Tuesday morning, Beckett was instructed not to partake in any physical activity for the day.

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"He'll be evaluated again tomorrow, and we'll see where that leads him," said manager Terry Francona. "In regards to his start, we'll just do what's in his best interest. If he can start, good. If he can't, we can either push him back or [he can] throw a side [session]. We'll do what's in his best interests. But the first thing is to make sure he can do his activities and it doesn't set him backwards. But there's a lot of improvement, and his eyes look real clear."

The incident happened on Monday morning with Beckett standing in the outfield shagging flies. Batting-practice instructor Ino Guerrero, using a fungo bat, hit a ball back toward the infield instead of throwing it.

"Well, I think he was behind me," said Beckett. "He must have been a little bit to my left, but basically he was behind me."

The ball struck Beckett on the left side of his head, in the temple area.

"You go through a bunch of different emotions," Beckett said. "At first, you're [mad], because you don't know what happened. Then, I tried to walk and I got real dizzy and just kind of took a knee. You just kind of go through everything. I really didn't even know what happened. I didn't know if I got hit by a ball from another field or what. I had no idea what happened."

Guerrero said he will be more careful in the future.

"He feels terrible," Beckett said. "I didn't want to make things worse. Like I said, at first I was [mad]. I knew he didn't do it on purpose. It was one of those deals. I mean, was it stupid? Yes. It was very stupid. I think he realizes that now. Like I said, no sense making him feel worse than he already does."

Beckett noticed improvement over the 24-hour period.

"I'm definitely better today than I was yesterday," he said. "Those were encouraging things. I don't know where we go from here."

At this early juncture of camp, Beckett is confident his schedule will only have to be modified slightly. He already got his first exhibition start under his belt on Sunday night.

"If I have to miss Thursday, I don't think it will be Wednesday [of next week] when I pitch," said Beckett. "It will definitely be before then. If they push me back, they push me back."

Beckett said his only previous concussion stemmed from a fight.

He had no trouble sleeping on Monday night.

"It wasn't that bad, actually," said Beckett. "I went straight to sleep. That was one of the questions they asked me today. I was like, 'I was tired all day.' After that happened, I was physically drained. I went straight to sleep. I couldn't go to sleep until after six o'clock because I had to see [trainer Mike Reinold] again yesterday evening. But I think I went to sleep at like 9:30, something like that. I didn't have any problems."

The Red Sox were glad one of their most important pitchers dodged a serious head injury.

"He lost his headache," Francona said. "He's just sore. He got hit with a baseball. But he's going to be OK."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.