Lackey targets instructional league action

Lackey targets instructional league action

BOSTON -- The progression toward competition continued for Red Sox right-hander John Lackey on Thursday, as he threw batting practice to teammates for the second time.

Lackey, who underwent Tommy John ligament transfer surgery last October, won't pitch for the Red Sox before this season ends, but he is on track to pitch a couple of innings of instructional league action in Florida.

"Lackey threw 25 pitches of live BP today, felt even better than he did last time, and looked better than he did last time," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "No chance of him pitching here, but he's looking forward to pitching a couple of innings in Florida."

The trip to the instructional league will probably offer more of a mental hurdle for Lackey than a physical one, and give him some added momentum going into the offseason.

"It's been a goal of his," Valentine said. "You always want to be able to reach your goals. He looks good, he feels good. To check that off, I think, would be a good thing for him to do. He's been right on schedule. He's made every bullpen session, he's made every weight session."