James Paxton suffers setback in first rehab start

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James Paxton faced only two batters in Thursday's rehab start in the Florida Complex League before being pulled from the game due to injury.

The Boston Red Sox southpaw, making his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021, exited the game with a lat strain. The setback puts him at risk of missing the remainder of the 2022 campaign.

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“Left lat tightness, he’s going to see a doctor tomorrow, we’ll know more," Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters.

Thursday marked 499 days since Paxton last took the mound in a competitive setting. He tore his UCL during a start with the Seattle Mariners on April 6, 2021, and has been battling his way back from the injury since.

The Red Sox signed Paxton during the offseason to a one-year, $10 million deal that includes a two-year, $26 million team option. If the 33-year-old's injury shuts him down for the season, the Red Sox will have a $13M option for 2023. If that is declined, a $4M player option will kick in.

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