Jun 10, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buchholz Comeback Comments Sending Mixed Messages

Clay Buchholz hasn’t been on a Major League mound in a game since June 8 after straining the bursa sac in his throwing shoulder. His rehab since then has continued, painfully slow and fraught with setbacks. Although the Red Sox haven’t set a definitive timetable for his return Buchholz has recently found a way to at least get back on a mound. It sounds like a minor achievement. Given the length of his rehab, it’s a major league accomplishment.

After a number of false starts, Buccholz passed the “crow hop” test a few days ago, an assessment that measures a full on hop and hard throw to test shoulder strength and his pain level. With that hurdle cleared, Buchholz today threw off a mound for the first time since being sidelined over 10 weeks ago.

WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported that Buchholz was feeling “a lot better” after throwing off a mound Tuesday for the first time since mid-July. Buchholz threw just 27 pitches at about 65% intensity but he did successfully complete the abbreviated session.

Buchholz has also been battling criticism of late that he’s soft. Although he’s repeatedly said, “I want to be out there,” as reported by ESPN.com’s Joe McDonald, Buchholz also recently told 4E Sports’ contributor Cesar Tordesillas on August 2 that the addition of Jake Peavy takes a bit of stress off and he feels there’s no reason to try to rush it now. Distinctly mixed signals in these two messages.

The Red Sox will need a healthy Buchholz down the stretch. And so the waiting game continues. If he does come back and get into the rotation the obvious questions will be can he stay healthy and if so how long before he gets back in a groove, especially with the Sox headed for a sure dogfight with at least two teams down the stretch.

Stay tuned. This is why we watch.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz

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