Andrews: No structural damage for Buchholz

Andrews: No structural damage for Buchholz
July 22, 2013, 4:30 pm
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BOSTON -- Meetings with Dr. James Andrews don't often bring good news. But consider Clay Buchholz as someone who will return to Boston with peace of mind following his visit to Dr. Andrews on Monday morning.

Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8, and after several setbacks and continued lingering soreness, the Red Sox' only All-Star pitcher got some great news from Dr. Andrews: He's OK.

"The exam concurs with what has been diagnosed here," said Red Sox manager John Farrell before Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. "So most importantly, Clay comes back, I think, with a little bit more peace of mind. And he'll continue on the throwing program that's been already put in place.

"He's coming off a good day of throwing yesterday, out to 100 feet with greater intensity. He's traveling back here tonight, so he'll be at the park here tomorrow."

Andrews confirmed to Buchholz that the lingering soreness he feels when he throws off a mound is not injury-related. It's just part of the rehab process.

"From my understanding, the exam with Dr. Andrews relayed to him that he's going to feel some, at times, a little stiffness or discomfort, just by virtue of getting back into pitching shape," said Farrell.

"The root of it is not because of an injury," added the Red Sox manager. "It's more of just re-conditioning and getting the throwing arm back in shape."

As of Monday, Farrell said there's still no exact date for Buchholz' return to the Red Sox rotation. But he did say that Buchholz will have to continue to further his long-toss distances before getting back on a mound. From there, he'll need approximately three bullpen sessions, a simulated game, and then a rehab start.

Again, there's no exact timetable for any of this, but there's an obvious sense of relief after the visit with Andrews.

"He comes back with some greater assurance," said Farrell. "And I think some more peace of mind. So we'll continue on with the progression that's outlined."

As for why the Red Sox waited this long for Buchholz to see Dr. Andrews, Farrell explained that they believed Buchholz was making progress.

"In the attempts to build back and progress through, he was making progress, even though they were a step back at times," said Farrell. "And on the most recent trip, we felt like he had really turned the corner, as did Clay. And that was most recently in Seattle. Then when we got to Oakland, he experienced that one bullpen where he had to shut down. So he furthered the medication to get through the All-Star break. That's led us to today."

And today, since everyone now has that peace of mind that the lingering soreness is not injury-related, Farrell believes that Buchholz will be ready to get back to work without any hesitation.

"Yeah, I would think there would be more readiness on his part to push through that," said Farrell.