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Tim Wakefield


The Boston Red Sox have pushed back Wakefield's return to a week from Sunday against the Seattle Mariners. Wakefield is recovering from a stress fracture in his rib and was supposed to pitch the Aug. 21 game against the New York Yankees, but the team has decided to wait.


The Providence Journal reported that Red Sox manager Terry Francona is targeting next weekend's series against the New York Yankees for Wakefield to return from a stress fracture in his rib cage. The knuckle-baller has not pitched since suffering the injury during a 5-4 Boston win over the Kansas City Royals on July 17.


Wakefield has begun throwing up to 120 feet, but has still not pitched off the mound. Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he hopes to have Wakefield pitching on the mound on Monday, but that a return to the rotation is still several weeks away.


Wakefield is still undergoing rehabilitation for the stress fracture in his rib cage and is not expected to join the Red Sox for their six-game road trip. The right-hander has not thrown from a mound.


Wakefield was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a stress fracture in the area of his rib cage. The move is retroactive to Tuesday. Boston manager Terry Francona said the right-handed knuckleballer will begin undergoing ultrasound and hydrotherapy on Monday. A bone scan revealed Wakefield has had "significant healing" in the injured area. "The No. 1 thing is get him to have range of motion without pain," Francona said.


Wakefield has a broken rib and is expected to spend at least three weeks on the disabled list, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Thursday. Francona said Wakefield doesn't remember how he injured himself. It might have been from sleeping on it wrong. "He's actually been pitching with pain in his ribs for about a month or six weeks," Francona said. "The DL is a definite."


Wakefield left Monday night's start against the Kansas City Royals after four innings with a strained upper back. After the game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the veteran knuckleballer will have further tests on his ailing back Tuesday. Francona met with team doctor Thomas Gill immediately following the game in the skipper's office.


As a precautionary measure, the Boston Red Sox have moved Wakefield's next start from Wednesday to Saturday, giving him some extra time to recover from a bruised right ankle/shin. The knuckleballer took a line drive off his leg in Thursday's meeting with the Los Angeles Angels.


Wakefield was forced to leave Thursday's game against the Angels in the fifth inning after taking a comebacker to his right ankle. X-rays were negative, but his status for his next start is uncertain at this time.


On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox announced that they had signed Wakefield to a one-year, $4 million extension for 2006. The new deal also has a club option for each subsequent year through 2009. The 38-year-old Wakefield, who could retire with the Red Sox, already has the longest tenure in Boston of anyone on the 40-man roster.

Working his 11th season in Boston, Wakefield is 116-99 with 22 saves and a 4.28 ERA for the Red Sox. Over his career, which began in Pittsburgh, the righthander is 130-111 with a 4.27 ERA.