BOSTON (CBS) – Injured Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz played catch for the second straight day on Friday, but is still not ready to begin throwing off a mound.

Buchholz has been on the disabled list since June 17 with a muscle strain in his lower back. He thought it was going to be a simple trip to the DL, returning after his 15-days were up. But the injury has persisted, making for a slow road back. Buchholz does not want to return until all the pain in his back is gone, which is taking a lot longer than he thought it would.

“It sucks,” said Buchholz, who was 6-3 with a 6.48 ERA before the injury. “I want to be pitching, I want to help the team anyway I can. Me going out there, not 100-percent or not 80-percent, it’s not going to help the team any. If I rush back into it, it’ll be something that will be here for the rest of the season and I don’t want that.”

Read: Jenks Lands On DL For Third Time

Buchholz said he played catch at half speed on Friday and felt better than he thought he would. After two days of catch, he is giving his arm a day of rest on Saturday but still do some core exercises. It is a slow process for the right-hander, one with no timetable for when he can begin throwing off a mound.

“Throwing has never been the issues, it’s been pitching off the mound. I don’t think I’m at that point yet, but (Friday) was a step in the right direction for sure,” said Buchholz.

Manager Terry Francona said the team will not put a timeline on Buchholz’ return, letting the pitcher make the call when he feels healthy enough.

“This one has been a little different. He was pitching with it for a while, pitching pretty effectively, then it started getting in the way,” said Francona. “We need him. We’d love to have him in the short-term but we really want him in the long-term.”

Read: Ortiz Appeals Suspension

“It’s something I don’t think I can rush in to or try to do more than I can in that particular day. It’s a muscle in my back and until that feels better I don’t think I’ll be able to really get off the mound,” said Buchholz.

Buchholz was given a cortisone shot earlier in the month that he said helped but the pain remained. He had hoped to begin throwing off the mound shortly after, but it still sounds like a ways away.

Afer a lengthy absence from game action, Buchholz will require some time in the minors. It could be as late as mid-August before the Red Sox get one of their top starters back.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s