Dice-K making progress, throws bullpen session

By Evan Drellich / MLB.com | 01/31/12 5:56 PM EST

BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Monday threw his first bullpen session since he underwent Tommy John surgery in June, according to the Japanese outlet Kyodo News.
Working out at the team's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., Matsuzaka threw his first 11 pitches with a catcher standing in front of home plate and then another 10 with the catcher crouched. Matsuzaka is scheduled for long toss Wednesday and another bullpen session Friday if all goes well, according to the report.
"Today is like a warm up," Matsuzaka told Kyodo News. "I think I'll throw harder next week."

Dice-K went 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 37 1/3 innings before last season's surgery. This is the last year of a six-year contract for Matsuzaka, a deal which started well but has been derailed by injuries. A mid- to late-season return to the Majors is possible for the 31-year-old Matsuzaka.