BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox are now down two aces.
Schilling's injury could be indirectly related to the operation he had last November, Boston general manager Theo Epstein said Wednesday, although the latest problem is higher in the ankle.
"That general area has been through a lot," Epstein said.
Epstein said Schilling will go on the 15-day disabled list, rest
and wear a removable boot for two weeks. He might be able to throw
during that period, which could speed his return.
The Red Sox got an unexpected day off Wednesday, when their game
with the Baltimore Orioles was postponed by rain. The game will be
made up June 2.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after left-hander Wells went on the disabled list with a sprained right foot suffered Monday night. He also is wearing a removable boot and his foot will be immobilized for three weeks, Epstein said. He's expected to be sidelined four to six weeks.
"These are real serious challenges, but we think they're short-term challenges and well get through it," Epstein said.
Schilling's injury, which happened last Saturday at Tampa Bay, affected the same ankle that was covered by a bloody sock in last year's postseason.
He said he felt a sharp pain on his first pitch to Travis Lee in the sixth inning. Lee hit an 0-2 pitch for a double, driving in the tying and winning runs in the Devil Rays' 6-5 victory. Schilling stayed in the game through the seventh.
"The way it was explained to me was that the ankle bone was just not ready to take the force I put on it the other day," Schilling said. "I knew when I threw the pitch I had done something. ... I think it was the hardest pitch I've thrown all year."
Doctors told him that if he continued pitching without rest "there was a very legitimate possibility that we could break the bone and the season would be done," said Schilling, who is 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA. Last season he was 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA.
He spoke at a news conference in the same room where another news conference ended a few minutes earlier at which a Curt Schilling Bobble Ankle doll was unveiled as part of a fund-raising effort. The doll shows Schilling following through on a pitch with his right leg, the ankle wobbling on a spring, in the air.
In Game 6 of the AL Championship Series and Game 2 of the World Series, Schilling was outstanding after a displaced tendon in his ankle was stitched to the skin. He underwent surgery Nov. 8.
He and Epstein said they don't feel he rushed back before he was ready. Schilling started the season on the disabled list and made his first start in Boston's eighth game. Epstein said Schilling needs to lose weight but couldn't do his usual offseason conditioning while recovering from surgery.
The Red Sox are also off Thursday before starting a road trip Friday night with three games in Texas and four in Detroit.
Manager Terry Francona said Tim Wakefield will start Friday in Texas, followed by Bronson Arroyo and Matt Clement, and John Halama, a middle reliever, will get his first start of the year Monday in Detroit. Tuesday's starter hasn't been announced, but Francona said it won't be Wade Miller, who is scheduled to make his third rehabilitation start Thursday night after missing much of last season with Houston with a frayed rotator cuff.
"It never fails. When you think you have enough pitching or too
much pitching, you're fooling yourself," said Francona, who
expects a roster move involving Schilling to be made Thursday.
Last season no Red Sox pitcher missed a start because of injury and they won the World Series.
Schilling said he didn't tell anyone about Saturday's pain because he thought it might be scar tissue breaking up, a good development. The ankle didn't feel better the next two days and he couldn't take his scheduled bullpen session Tuesday. A bone scan late Tuesday night revealed the injury.
"It's an early gut check," Schilling said, "but I don't doubt
for a second that we have the character and the talent to do what
we have to do."