Blister on right hand has healed

MIAMI -- Florida ace Josh Beckett, on the 15-day disabled list because of a blister on the middle finger of his right hand, will start Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox.

Beckett threw another bullpen session Tuesday and reported no problems, clearing the way for his return.

The World Series MVP was placed on the DL on May 31 after
lasting just 2 2/3 innings against the New York Mets.

The Marlins want to be very cautious with Beckett's return,
in part because blister problems put the right-hander on the DL
three times in 2002.

"We'll let him go four or five innings and we'll check it
out," manager Jack McKeon said. "We don't want to tear it up. He
may go an inning less than usual."

Beckett, who is 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 11 starts this season,
said the blister started to form after a start in Cincinnati but he
tried to pitch through it in New York.

He's hoping to avoid a recurring problem like he had two years ago, when he experimented with a variety of treatments. He rubbed rice between fingers, tried about a dozen different ointments and even soaked his finger in pickle juice. He made it through last
season without a blister problem.

"We thought we had it licked," Beckett said. "But these
things manifest themselves whenever they want."