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Beckett throws at Minor League complex

Beckett readies to return to mound

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox ace Josh Beckett played long toss and then threw a 45-pitch bullpen session at the team's Minor League complex Friday morning.

Beckett, 20-7 with a 3.27 ERA last season -- the Major Leagues' only 20-game winner -- is working his way back from back spasms that scratched him from his scheduled March 8 start against the Marlins.

With the Sox in Japan for exhibition games against Japanese teams this weekend and then their season-opening series against the A's beginning Tuesday, Boston pitching coach John Farrell said Triple-A pitching coach Rich Sauveur and Minor League head athletic trainer Jim Young would monitor Beckett's progress.

"There are still some peaks and valleys," Beckett told the Providence Journal. "That first week I felt better every other day, and then every other day I felt worse. Now I'm at a point where I can do everything I need to do in between starts or bullpens. I've progressed, but it's only been in the last week where I can start to put a timetable when I can get on the mound."

Beckett is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game at the complex on Sunday afternoon. He did not pitch in a Grapefruit League game this spring, facing Boston College and a Twins "B" squad.

Bartolo Colon, who signed a Minor League contract with the Red Sox in February, is scheduled to pitch in a game Saturday afternoon at City of Palms Park as the Class A Lancaster Jet Hawks host the Twins' Class A Fort Myers Miracle.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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