Red Sox's James Paxton unlikely to be ready for start of season

Boston Red Sox left-hander James Paxton has a Grade 1 strain of his right hamstring and seems unlikely to be on the Opening Day roster, manager Alex Cora said Saturday.

Paxton left Friday's outing -- his first in a game in nearly two years -- after 1⅔ innings after feeling discomfort in his leg.

Cora said it's unclear how long Paxton will be shut down, but the injury is the least severe possible strain.

Paxton, 34, missed nearly the entire 2021 season -- pitching just 1⅓ innings -- after undergoing Tommy John surgery while pitching for the Seattle Mariners. He signed with Boston before last season but spent the entire year on the injured list with a series of setbacks while recovering from the surgery.

Paxton is several years removed from the best seasons of his career. Between 2017-19, Paxton was 38-17 with a 3.54 ERA in 81 starts for Seattle and the New York Yankees.