TORONTO (AP) Curt Schilling's return from an injury to his surgically repaired right ankle could take up to 12 weeks.
Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said on Thursday he doesn't know when his ace will return from the disabled list, but acknowledged that he heard a month ago it could be as little as two weeks or as long as three months.
''I think that was based on the doctor trying to tell Schilling that this is best case, worst case,'' Francona said before the Red Sox lost 8-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Schilling's protective boot was removed from the right ankle last Friday, and Boston's team doctor didn't put a timetable on when Schilling might pitch again.
The extended rehabilitation period was first reported Wednesday in the Boston Herald, who cited unnamed sources.
Schilling was injured April 23 when he bruised a bone in his right ankle while pitching at Tampa Bay. He had surgery on the ankle last November after pitching with a different injury in the AL championship series and World Series.
Schilling, who doesn't speak to the media, has been throwing from about 150 feet recently.
''His ankle was in the boot for three weeks. He's got to build up strength,'' Francona said. ''He's making progress.''
In three starts this season, Schilling is 1-2 with an 8.15 ERA. He's been on the disabled list since April 29.
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