Lester, Dice-K have encouraging sessions

Lester, Dice-K have encouraging sessions

Lester, Dice-K have encouraging sessions
ARLINGTON -- Three days after the worst start of his career, Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester got back on the horse on Wednesday, throwing an extended side session before Boston's game against the Rangers.

To help make it more realistic, Lester had some teammates step in the box, though they didn't swing.

Lester's big test will come on Saturday afternoon, when he pitches against the Yankees in New York.

"Lester had a long throwing session and said he felt great, and to me, he looked great," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is on the disabled list with a neck injury, also threw a bullpen session that got positive reviews.

"Dice-K threw the best that he's thrown in a long time," said Valentine.

Matsuzaka last pitched for the Red Sox on July 2. He might advance to facing some hitters the next time he throws. Valentine said he still needs to confer with the training staff.