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Percival on mend for series finale

Posted Sep 17, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Sep 17, 2008 at 05:28 PM

The needles, undoubtedly, were big. So big Troy Percival didn’t even want to see them before they knocked him out at the doctor’s office yesterday. But the work those epidurals did on his lower back have the closer feeling as fresh as he can be today.

Percival is going to need surgery on his back once the season is finished, but he hopes the series of injections he is receiving will allow him to pitch somewhat regularly until then. He is not available today but said he expects to be “full-throttle” tomorrow.

“I feel so much better,” said Percival. “I’m excited to get out and pitch.”

Percival is currently slated to have three series of injections with six day intervals in between. So in theory he’ll be available to pitch for five days beginning tomorrow, get another round of epidurals and rest for a day, then go back out for five more days, at which point the medical staff will decide if he needs a third round of shots.

It isn’t fun, but Percival said it’s worth it.

“Anything to finish this out and get back to where I was at earlier in the year,” he said.

As for tonight’s game, the Rays have a different look against Tim Wakefield. Joe Maddon decided to give Willy Aybar and Justin Ruggiano a shot against the knuckleballer, who hasn’t seen either of them before.

On the Boston side, Mike Lowell is out, which is no surprise considering how much pain he appeared to be in during the latter stages of last night’s game.

Red Sox
Ellsbury LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 3B
Kotsay RF
Lowrie SS
Casey 1B
Crisp CF
Cash C
Wakefield P

Rays
Iwamura 2B
Bartlett SS
Pena 1B
Longoria 3B
Aybar DH
Navarro C
Ruggiano LF
Gross RF
Perez CF
Garza P

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