Indians’ Matsuzaka improving from side injury

The Indians expect right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to be pitch

again in the minor leagues within the next month after an oblique

injury sidelined him.

Matsuzaka has been out since April 28, when he hurt his side

while pitching for Triple-A Columbus. Indians vice president Ross

Atkins said Sunday that the Japanese right-hander is progressing,

and he believes Matsuzaka will be pitching again ”in weeks, not

months.”

Matsuzaka signed a minor-league contract in February and was

given a chance to win a job in Cleveland’s rotation during spring

training. But he was beaten out and the Indians released him before

he re-signed and reported to the Clippers.

In five Triple-A starts, Matsuzaka went 0-2 with a 3.92 ERA. The

32-year-old was limited to just 18 starts in the past two seasons

because of elbow issues.