BOSTON (CBS) – It hasn’t even been a year since Daisuke Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he is set to return to the Boston Red Sox this weekend.

Matsuzaka, who underwent the surgery on June 10, 2011, is expected to get the start for the Red Sox Saturday afternoon against the Washington Nationals, manager Bobby Valentine announced Wednesday.

“He feels fine. Unless something changes, we’ll try to activate him and pitch him on Saturday,” said Valentine. “Obviously, he won’t be activated until then.”

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This will be Matsuzaka’s first major league start since May 16 last year, when he allowed five hits and walked seven in just 4.1 innings against the Baltimore Orioles.

The right-hander made eight rehab starts as he worked his way back from surgery, six for the Pawtucket Red Sox. He went 1.1 innings Tuesday night, his final tune-up before returning to the big leagues.

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Matsuzaka went 0-2 with a 3.37 ERA in his six starts for Pawtucket. He will take Daniel Bard’s spot in the rotation, with Bard being sent down to Pawtucket on Tuesday.

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