Sox push Smoltz's rehab back a week

Sox push Smoltz's rehab back a week

CLEVELAND -- Daisuke Matsuzaka might be getting closer to his return, but the Red Sox don't know how close right-hander John Smoltz is to coming back.

They have had to push Smoltz's rehab back a week, manager Terry Francona said after the Red Sox beat the Indians, 6-5, in 10 innings.

"I just think it's in his best interest to just slow down a bit," Francona said. "It's not real great medical terminology, but that's about the best way I can put it. He's been grinding pretty hard."

Smoltz, who is recovering from shoulder surgery last June, had been scheduled to throw live batting practice Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., as part of his progression to pitching in rehab games. But the Red Sox have delayed the throwing program to allow Smoltz to rebuild his arm strength.

"I think everybody involved thinks, 'Let's just give him a week of strengthening. A little bit of rest from throwing, and he'll be better for it,'" Francona said. "That's the best way I can put it."

Francona didn't rule out that Smoltz might be sore.

"However old he is, I bet jogging hurts," Francona said. "But there's nothing that came out crazy or anything like that."

Justice B. Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.