Red Sox pitcher David Price is set to make his season debut for Boston on Monday at the Chicago White Sox.
The 31-year-old left-hander, starting the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contact, has been recovering from a strained pitching elbow.
"Excited, just to be back here," he said Thursday. "There's not a better feeling. You can't replicate it anywhere else."
Price allowed nine runs -six earned- and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings during a pair of injury rehabilitation starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. He struck out eight and walked two.
"A lot of pitches, in a short amount of time. I think that is more of a test to being healthy as opposed to going out there and throwing five or six (innings) in 90 pitches," he said. "To do what I did in both of my rehab outings, I don't think you can do that if you're not healthy."
Boston began the night with a 24-21 record.
"He's eager to get back to us and physically he feels great," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "His return to us will give us a definite boost but that's not to de-emphasize he needs to go out and perform."
Farrell hopes Price's return has a trickle-down impact.
"It's not based solely on the name on the back of his jersey," Farrell said. "Hopefully it allows us to even out some of the performances within the rotation."