Early notes: Buchholz seeking answers

Early notes: Buchholz seeking answers
July 30, 2011, 1:11 am
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By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
CHICAGO -- Clay Buchholz will see noted back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles Monday in an effort to determine what has slowed his comeback from a back injury.

Buchholz, who hasn't pitched since June 15, threw off a mound Monday, but a followup session scheduled for Wednesday was scuttled.

WEEI.com reported Thursday that the Red Sox are fearful that Buchholz's back injury isn't merely muscular, as has been speculated, but, instead, structural.

The timing of the visit with Watkins may be curious, too. With the non-waiver trading deadline Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern, the Sox may not want any negative prognosis on Buchholz made public before then, fearing that it may hurt them in any leverage in trade talks.

Unsure of Buchholz's availability in the coming months, the Sox are in the market for a starting pitcher. Seattle's Erik Bedard, Oakland's Rich Harden, LA's Huroki Kuroda and Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez are among the pitchers in whom the Sox have interest.

Jed Lowrie, who's been out for six weeks with a pinched nerve in his shoulder, will begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket Monday.

Lowrie will play shortstop Monday for the Pawsox, DH Tuesday, and be re-examined Wednesday in Boston before rejoining Pawtucket for two more games Thursday and Friday.

Without any further setbacks, it's possible Scutaro could be activated next weekend.

"The way he swung the bat earlier in the season,'' said Terry Francona, "he was our most productive hitter. When guys aren't hear, it's like 'out of sight, out of mind.' But we want him swinging like he was. That would be a huge lift for us.''

Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the lineup about 30 minutes before gametime with a stiff neck. His absence meant that Kevin Youkilis moved from third to first, with Drew Sutton getting the start in left field. David Ortiz took Gonzalez's spot hitting third in the batting order with Josh Reddick moving up to fifth.

Reliever Bobby Jenks got an injection his back Thursday. He remains in Boston, and will resume workouts with trainer Scott Waugh Monday.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam