Buchholz will return when "comfortable"

Buchholz will return when "comfortable"
July 23, 2013, 6:15 pm
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BOSTON – Back from his visit with Dr. James Andrews in Florida on Monday, right-hander Clay Buchholz said he had “peace of mind,” and feels “pretty good about” pitching again this season. But he still has no timetable for when that might be. However, based on a tentative timetable, he may not pitch before September.
 
“Definitely glad I went and saw him,” Buchholz said. “There was five doctors in the room that I did probably three different strength tests for three different doctors. It turned out fine as far as everything in that, and then looked at MRIs with them. But just knowing that if I don't do this right, he said you can either get four or five starts in the last half of the season and then hopefully if we’re lucky enough to go to the playoffs and pitch in the playoffs, or you can do it wrong and not pitch at all.”
 
Buchholz has not pitched since June 8. Initially he was sidelined by soreness in the AC joint of his right shoulder which was later diagnosed as inflammation of the bursa sac in his shoulder. The information he received from Andrews, who confirmed a bursa sac strain, Buchholz said, gave him some reason for cautious optimism.
 
“Overall good thing,” he said. “Obviously, the non-structural part was good, [not requiring] surgery, which I anticipated that. Definitely have a strain in there. And strength in the shoulder is as good as it’s ever been really.
 
Buchholz partly attributed the delay in his return to pushing himself too quickly to do too much on days he felt good, inadvertently setting him back.
 
“Because that’s one of the things that he said that I didn’t really know until that point was you can have a shoulder strain and strength be 100 percent,” Buchholz said.  “So it’s all in the throwing motion. Probably partly my fault because I wanted  to come back more than probably anybody wants me to be back. But probably been pushing myself a little bit too much. And that was the problem I ran into. I’d feel really good for a day or two or three and try to get off a mound and it’d be like a restrain and start from square one again.
 
“So that’s what I’ve been doing for a month and a half and it’s been miserable. Just hearing it from him and knowing what I have to do now and moving forward, hopefully just happy it’s not going to take that much longer. It’s just got to be a steady diet of the same thing every day, not any more, not any less, until you’re comfortable with something and then maybe add a little to it. And that’s where we’re at right now.”
 
There is no definitive timetable for when Buchholz will return.
 
“When I get comfortable,” he said. “His one thing was when I’m at 90 feet and I can throw hard and let a ball go as hard as I want to and be ok with it, that’s when the light comes on and says, 'OK, you can start throwing off a mound easy and then get back into it' – flat ground, sim game.
 
“Whenever it feels good, that's the one thing, whenever it’s good, whenever I can throw a ball as hard as I want to and I don't have any thought in my mind or sensation in my arm that says ok that’s not what you need to do right now.”
 
Buchholz said the current level of discomfort in his shoulder is less than what it has been.
 
“Nothing in the last two days throwing at 90 feet but at moderate intensity, not really as intense as I’ve thrown in the past,  but that’s the stepping stone, the building blocks,” he said. “You’ve got to ease your way into it. That’s where I’ve sort of got derailed over the last month, because when I feel good I want it to happen now, and that’s not the way to go about it.”
 
Asked if he thought, in retrospect, he should have done anything differently since the injury, Buchholz replied:
 
“Yeah, I think I wanted to be back so quick that the days that if let good I would go out and say I feel good, I feel good, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do more, I’m going to throw more. And that’s not exactly the way now I understand to go about it. But thankfully the team's doing good.”
 
Asked if he was confident he will pitch again this season, he replied:
 
“I don’t know if you guys believe me or not because I said I was pretty confident I was going to pitch a month and a half ago, but I feel good about it knowing the steps I have to take to get back and not pushing myself over the edge. I feel pretty good about it.”
 
Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA. The Sox are 11-1 in his 12 starts this season. Buchholz had been the major league leader in ERA at the time of his injury.