Red Sox optimistic on Dice-K status

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was examined by the club's medical director Dr. Thomas Gill and the results were positive, according to manager Terry Francona.

The right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list after he was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday due to tightness in his forearm while warming up.

"Fortunately, they looked at him and he tested really well," Francona said after the team's 5-3 loss to the Phillies on Sunday. "Very encouraging. We have a day off [Monday] and we'll regroup, but it was very encouraging."

There's no structural damage and he has not undergone an MRI at this point.

"Tom thought that wasn't appropriate right now because he had a real good exam," explained Francona.

Matsuzaka warmed up and walked to the dugout about 15 minutes before the start of Saturday's game. Francona said after Boston's 10-2 win over the Phillies on Saturday that the right-hander felt he could pitch by altering his delivery, but the team was uncomfortable with him doing that.

On Sunday morning, Francona said he was encouraged by Matsuzaka's preliminary exam.

"Daisuke feels great, which is good," Francona said before Sunday's game against the Phillies. "We certainly need to delve into it a little more. We're cautiously optimistic about that, but we'll get more information this morning."

After Monday's off day, Matsuzaka will try to throw on Tuesday and his situation will be re-evaluated after that.

Matsuzaka, who started the season on the DL with a neck strain, is 5-2 with a 4.59 ERA in eight starts this season. He has allowed 41 hits over 49 innings with 37 strikeouts and 23 walks.

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins and Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.