BOSTON - Boston ace Curt Schilling will not start Game 5 of the AL championship series Sunday because of an injured right ankle, though it's possible he could return later in the series.
Derek Lowe will start in his place - unless the schedule is pushed back by rain that is forecast for Game 3 on Friday night. The New York Yankees lead the Red Sox 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
"We need to get to Game 5," Boston manager Terry Francona said, "but, yeah, it's Derek."
Schilling, who led the major leagues with 21 wins, lasted just three innings and 58 pitches while allowing six runs in Boston's 10-7 loss to the Yankees in Tuesday night's opener. It was his poorest postseason performance since 1993.
"This team wasn't built around one player. We're fine," Boston first baseman Kevin Millar said. "This is where heroes are made."
Schilling said he had trouble with his balance and pushing off the pitching rubber, which cut down on his pitch speed.
Red Sox team physician Bill Morgan said that the sheath that covers two tendons in Schilling's ankle is torn, allowing one of the tendons to slip out of its groove and rub against a bone. Schilling didn't feel discomfort while pitching Tuesday because he was injected with a painkiller.
Schilling was expected to be fitted for a brace that would stabilize the ankle. He was planning to test it on Thursday during the team's off-day workout, but he was still too sore to try; he may try again on Saturday.
"It's not over. He's going to continue to try to prepare," Francona said. "But as far as Sunday goes, he's not starting."
Schilling left the ballpark without commenting. But he called local talk radio station WEEI-AM to say that the injury had occurred during his regular-season finale against the Yankees and not the playoff series against Anaheim.
"My No. 1 concern ... is altering my mechanics to try to adjust," he told the station. "If I can't pitch without altering my mechanics, then we're going to have to win a World Series without me, which I think is entirely possible for us to do."
With Schilling out, the Red Sox have scheduled Bronson Arroyo, Tim Wakefield and Lowe for Games 3-5. If Friday night's game is rained out, the Red Sox would probably bring Pedro Martinez back for Game 5 Monday on his normal rest.
"When the season started, all the talk was about Curt and Pedro being the 1-2 punch. It turns out when they need him the most he might not be available," Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams said.
"For the Red Sox to lose a pitcher of that caliber, it has to affect them. We feel that we are a little bit more comfortable without him pitching. But we can't think about that, because they have a couple more quality pitchers on that staff."