Red Sox RHP Matsuzaka goes on 15-day disabled list

Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka could miss a month with a

sprained ligament in his pitching elbow, marking the third straight

season he’ll be out for quite a while.

Matsuzaka was put on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Boston

manager Terry Francona said it will be two weeks before Matsuzaka

is examined again and that he won’t throw until then.

”When he goes out to pitch again, we want him to be free and

easy,” Francona said before the Red Sox played Detroit.

The 30-year-old Matsuzaka was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar

collateral ligament. He is 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in eight games.

Right-hander Michael Bowden was recalled from Triple-A

Pawtucket.

”Daisuke experienced tightness in his elbow during his last

start. His examination is consistent with a sprained lunar

collateral ligament, and strain to his common flexor mass. An MRI

was obtained which confirmed these exam findings,” team physician

Dr. Thomas Gill said in a statement.

In each of the past two seasons, Matsuzaka had landed on the DL

twice. Last year, he made only 25 starts because of neck strain and

a strained right forearm.

In 2009, he made just 12 starts and pitched only 59 1-3 innings.

He was sidelined with a strained shoulder early in the season and

again with the same injury that June.

In 2008, Matsuzaka set a career-high with 18 wins despite

missing some time with a strained rotator cuff.

Matsuzaka, for whom Boston paid $103 million ($51 million

posting fee, plus $52 million contract) to acquire from Japan

before the 2007 season, is in the fifth year of a six-year

contract.