BOSTON -- Roger Clemens could rejoin the Boston Red Sox's starting rotation Sept. 21 against the New York Yankees if he continues to progress from a severe case of tendinitis. Though Red Sox physician Arthur Pappas would not give a specific date, it was learned that the start of the series in New York is being considered "the realistic date" the medical staff and Clemens have been shooting for. Asked whether Clemens would return to pitch during the regular season, Pappas said, "That's an optimistic reality."
Pappas said the final Magnetic Resonance Imaging test, conducted yesterday at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, revealed no damage to a ligament in Clemens' right shoulder. Pappas could not study the third of three ligaments last Thursday because excessive fluid buildup caused sensitivity in Clemens' shoulder. Pappas said "the fluid has diminished significantly" since then.
Pappas said the big hurdle will be how Clemens responds to a decrease in the anti-inflammatory medication and an increase in activity.