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Koji Uehara is dealing with shoulder tightness

Apr 12, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

Koji Uehara AP AP

Potentially troubling news for the Red Sox, as Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that closer Koji Uehara is dealing with right shoulder tightness.

It was obvious something was amiss when Edward Mujica — not Uehara — warmed up in the bullpen in the top of the ninth inning last night and ended up closing out a victory over the Yankees. Uehara told reporters after the game that he felt tightness in his shoulder during pregame activities.

“Just tightness before the game playing catch,” Uehara said through an interpreter. “It’s difficult to explain, but just tightness. Two years ago, when I was with Texas, I felt the same kind of tightness.”

Uehara ended up missing two months with a lat strain in 2012, so the Red Sox aren’t going to take any chances here. The plan calls for him to test his shoulder by long tossing tomorrow, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that he could return to Boston for an examination if the issue lingers. Mujica will continue to fill in at closer for now.

Uehara, 39, threw 88 innings last season between the regular season and the playoffs. His previous high in MLB was 66 2/3 innings during his first season stateside in 2009 as a member of the Orioles.

  1. rje49 - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I’m not sure how long I can hold my breath…
    If it lasts two months, this is definitely something that can make several games difference in the W/L columns.

    • indaburg - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      I’m guessing 30-45 seconds…

      Take heart. At least it’s not his elbow.

  2. Earnest Christian - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Reblogged this on Earnest Christian presents The OpinioNation | Sports and Pop Culture.

  3. renaado - Apr 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Wow… Just watched the annnewsch,cnnnewsch and NHK world today..(All three are Japanese news stations.) And this is clearly the no.1 topic in sports stories there, heck even the newscasters are even showing obvious emotions of distress when readin the lines.

  4. proudlycanadian - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    1) Hope it is not serious. He has pitched very well in MLB.

    2) The way Lackey is pitching, it does not look as if he will be needed by the Red Sox today.

  5. sixchr - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    The Red Sox were concerned about his durability/innings last year because he had never really been a regular relief pitcher. He got pushed into the closer role, they overworked him, and it worked out. They came right out of the gate throwing him in every game they possibly could this year and now there’s a bit of a shoulder issue? I’m stunned, really.

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