Colon cleared to join PawSox's rotation

Colon cleared to join PawSox's rotation

DETROIT -- Bartolo Colon's right oblique injury recovered well enough after work at extended Spring Training to earn him Minor League starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, which could begin this weekend.

The Red Sox's burly right-hander is returning from an injury suffered in his first start in Pawtucket on April 3. He threw two scoreless innings at extended Spring Training on Monday in Sarasota, Fla., reaching as high as 93 mph on the radar gun, and immediately joined the Red Sox in Detroit. He showed no serious problems Wednesday at Comerica Park.

Now, Colon, the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner, will throw for Pawtucket as he tries to earn a spot in the Red Sox's rotation.

Boston manager Terry Francona said Colon will start by throwing three innings, gradually building up his stamina and pitching further into games.

"He'll work at getting his pitch count up, getting his legs under him, getting into where he's pitching out of jams -- all the things that go along with it," Francona said before Wednesday's game with the Tigers.

That said, it's unknown at this point how many starts Colon will make in Pawtucket before possibly joining Boston's rotation. Colon can opt out of his Minor League contract he signed in the offseason if he's not on the Red Sox's roster on June 1.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.