Red Sox P John Lackey Making Progress In Tommy John Recovery

Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While he won't be helping out the Red Sox in 2012, starting pitcher John Lackey is taking the necessary steps to make an impact for the team in 2013. For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Lackey faced live hitters over the weekend.

Lackey threw 15 pitches in a live-batting practice session on Saturday at Fenway Park. If his arm responds the right way in the upcoming days, Lackey could throw another session on Wednesday.

"It's the first step in the new world for him after a real hard summer of rehab," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "Better than how he looked is how he felt. He said he felt great afterwards, and that's important."

Prior to the 2010 season, Lackey signed a five-year contract worth $82.5 million. Lackey has gone just 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA with the Red Sox.

The Red Sox are optimistic that Lackey can rejoin the rotation early next season.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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