Bailey improved, likely will return to action Saturday

Bailey improved, likely will return to action Saturday

ARLINGTON -- Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey felt significant improvement with his recently ailing right biceps on Friday, but he's likely to be held out until Saturday's game against the Rangers.

"He came out early, went through his stretching, went through a long toss and did some flatground," said manager John Farrell. "He's much improved over yesterday and the last couple of days. He would be available in kind of an emergency situation. Ideally, we can give him another day to stay away from him. This is good news, nonetheless."

The Red Sox haven't used Bailey since Sunday's game against the Astros, but the righty is pleased the injury appears to be just a temporary nuisance.

Joel Hanrahan, who started the year as Boston's closer, filled in for Bailey in a save situation on Thursday in Toronto and got the job done.

"I think we're doing the right thing by being smart and not trying to push it so early on," Bailey said. "We have the group of guys who can do it. When Joel went down, we picked him up. If I need a couple of days, it's good. It's definitely a step in the right direction."

Starter John Lackey had to go on the disabled list with a biceps strain earlier in the season, but Bailey's injury doesn't seem to be nearly as significant.

Bailey did not undergo an MRI.

"Well, the tests were throwing and doing some aggressive flatground," said Farrell. "There was no imaging of any kind, because this was in the belly of the muscle. It was not in the same spot or similar to what John Lackey experienced."

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.