So, what is Matsuzaka doing in Japan? There have been conflicting reports from a couple of media outlets in Boston.
Yesterday evening, WBZ had this report:
WBZ-TV has learned that injured Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to Japan to get treatment on his ailing right elbow.
The Red Sox announced last week that Matsuzaka has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, but it is believed that the ligament is indeed torn. Matsuzaka is not heading to Japan for a second opinion, but instead is going to try a Japanese herbal remedy to see if it helps.
"He has an appointment scheduled with Dr. Yocum coming up," Francona said in Cleveland. "Diasuke has been really good about all this."
The type of injury Matsuzaka has could result in Tommy John surgery if his rehab fails, but Francona said that is not in the cards yet.
"[He is in Japan for] a personal matter ... He had permission from us to go back home," Francona said. "He is not going to have surgery. We made that decision for him to go home a while back."
Is calling it a personal matter a way of bypassing the fact that he is receiving herbal treatment? Was there a false rumor that Dice-K was going to see a doctor, but in fact does have a personal (or family) matter to attend to? I know Darryl Strawberry used to get "herbal treatments" and called them personal matters, but this is a much different situation.
The one confirmed fact is that Matsuzaka IS going to get a second opinion from Angels doctor, Dr. Lewis Yocum when he returns from Japan. Maybe he is getting traditional Japanese treatment and Tito is avoiding saying it himself. I'm sure Matsuzaka will be seeing a specialist while out there, no matter what the initial reason of his trip may be. He will just be more comfortable in Japan, surrounded by the people he knows and trusting their opinions. Whatever the result, we will not be seeing him pitch for a long time.
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)