SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Boston Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez will take off the entire month of July to rest his ailing right shoulder, he said Friday.
"The reality is that I will need 30 full days of rest instead of 15," Martinez told the Dominican newspaper Ultima Hora. "I prefer to wait a bit more and return with my arm in good shape."
Martinez, who has won the last two Cy Young Awards in the American League and three in his career, was placed on the disabled list June 27, a day after allowing four runs in less than five innings against Tampa Bay.
Martinez is 7-2 and leads the American League with a 2.26 ERA and 150 strikeouts.
The right-hander said doctors have told him there will be no need for surgery.
"I just need to rest and recover strength," Martinez said.
Martinez, who has recently been home in the Dominican Republic, will rejoin the Red Sox in New York next week when they begin a series against the Mets.
"He'll be in New York on Thursday and he'll meet with our doctors there," Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said Friday night at Fenway Park during Boston's game against Atlanta.
"He's in the resting phase of his rehab right now. He'll start the exercise program on Thursday," he said.
The Red Sox began the night one-half game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Last season, Martinez went on the disabled list June 26 with a strained muscle in his left side. He was activated July 13, when he pitched his fourth straight game without a win. He was a special selection for the All-Star game but didn't play because of the injury.
In 1999, his second season with Boston, he was on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder from July 19, after he started the All-Star game at Fenway Park, until Aug. 2.