Sox Notes: Buchholz takes step closer to return

Sox Notes: Buchholz takes step closer to return
July 10, 2013, 9:15 pm
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SEATTLE -- It was a month ago Monday that Clay Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox, but Wednesday he took a significant step toward rejoining them after the All-Star break.

Buchholz, who's been sidelined with inflammation in the right bursa sac, had a 25-pitch bullpen session at Safeco Field and came out of it well, according to his manager.

"The ball got out of his hand very well,'' said John Farrell, who added that Buchholz threw mostly fastballs in the session. "(Thursday)  will be a light day for him, just to get his arm moving. We'd look to repeat today on Friday, with possibly a more intense bullpen.''

If Buchholz gets through Friday's bullpen without any setbacks, the plan is for him to pitch for either Pawtucket or Portland on Sunday, then make another rehab appearance five days after that. Following that, the Sox tentatively have Buchholz scheduled to return to the big league mound at some point during their four-game series with Tampa Bay on July 22-26.

  • After missing the last two games with a sore left wrist, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the lineup Wednesday, playing center field and hitting leadoff.

Ellsbury felt soreness in his wrist during an awkward swing in Anaheim Sunday night.

"He felt better (Tuesday),'' said Farrell. "He hit early, but we felt like an additional day down was needed. He doesn't want to sit out. He wanted to be in the lineup (Tuesday) night. That was a personal one-on-one and he spoke his mind, but we felt like one additional day was going to help him get through this and he's back in there tonight.''

  • Jackie Bradley Jr. was called up Tuesday to play center, and he was on the bench Wedneday night. With both Ellsbury and Shane Victorino (hamstring) battling nagging injuries, the Sox want Bradley around for a couple of days as insurance.

"(Thursday) being a day game,'' explained Farrell, "we're probably going to give (Victorino) a day, so that provides Jackie an opportunity to get back on the field. But I don't want to lose sight with what Jonny (Gomes) and Mike Carp have done for us. The fact that we've been able to rotate some fresh arms in here has given us the abillity to keep Jackie around for the short run.''

In other injury updates:

  • Reliever Alex Wilson, who was placed on the DL Tuesday with a right thumb injury, saw a hand specialst in Boston Wedneday and was found to have some inflammation in the thumb.

"The MRI didn't reveal any kind of connective issues -- ligament, tendon or otherwise,'' said Farrell. "There's some inflammation in there and they feel like he'll need four or five days of down time, when he can then begin a throwing program. This is better than we first anticipated. It was a favorable exam, all things considered.''

  • Andrew Miller visited with a foot specialist in New York Tuesday, and the specialist concurred with the diagnosis that Miller is suffering from ligament damage in his left foot and will need surgery that will likely be season-ending.

"Both (the specialist and Dr. George Theodore) feel the same issue exists,'' said Farrell. "So at least the diagnosis is similar. At this point, Andrew has to determine who's going to do the surgery.''

No date has been set for the procedure.

  • Catcher David Ross (concussion) met with Dr. Michael Collins at the Universityof Pittsburgh Tuesday.

"He continues to improve,'' said Farrell of Ross. "He'll return home (to Florida) and begin to increase the intensity to his workouts, with some initial baseball activity. It's not likely he's going to return to us until the 24th of this month.

"While he's making progress, it's going to take some time.''

But Farrell answered in the affirmative when asked if he expected Ross to play again this year.

Ross is on the 60-day DL and isn't eligible to come off until Aug. 18.