John Lackey's "juiced" for Saturday's start against the Rays

The last time John Lackey threw a pitch during a game was September 25th, 2011 against the New York Yankees. Despite the fact that Lackey’s elbow was held together by a thread he managed to hold New York to only three earned runs. Immediately following the game Lackey underwent Tommy John surgery and has been on the road to recovery ever since.

Now it's 2013 and Lackey will get his first start since Tommy John surgery on Saturday as the Red Sox take on the Rays at JetBlue Park. No one is more thrilled to have the right-hander back out on the mound then Lackey himself.

“I’ve been fired up for this for over a year, absolutely. I’m excited to get it going.”

The Red Sox scheduled Lackey to throw 1 inning or 20 pitches (whichever comes first) during his start on Saturday, but that won’t stop the 34-year old from giving 100% while he’s on the mound.   

“There definitely will be a little extra juices flowing, for sure. (I’m) just glad to be feeling good and moving in the right direction.”

Saturday’s game against the Rays is one of eight scheduled starts for the right-hander, but it’s important for him to get off to a good start immediately - confidence is a pitcher’s best friend and Lackey is in needs those kind of “friends.”

Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.