Red Sox encouraged by Koji's progress

Righty reliever close to being able to throw to hitters

Red Sox encouraged by Koji's progress

BOSTON -- Koji Uehara is gaining steam in his quest to pitch again for the Red Sox this season. The righty had a solid bullpen session of over 50 pitches on Friday, and he is getting close to being able to throw to hitters.

"Very good," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Fifty-three pitches, and he threw with good intensity. He'll throw another bullpen on Monday, and whether or not we have hitters stand in, he's soon to be facing some hitters in a BP-type setting.

"That's not been scheduled, but I would fully expect that to be sometime in this coming week. Given the two bullpens that he's thrown and the volume combined with the intensity, he's making some pretty good strides here of late."

Uehara strained his right pectoral muscle against the Giants on July 19, and for a while, it seemed uncertain he would be able to return to action.

Given how much the Red Sox have struggled to get consistent relief in the eighth inning, the return of Uehara could be significant at some point in September.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.