Andrews visit may put Buchholz at ease
BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz will try to ease his mind on Monday, when he visits noted orthopedist James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.
The Red Sox right-hander hasn't pitched since June 8 because of a neck strain that has also given him discomfort behind his right shoulder.
What Buchholz will look for from Andrews is the assurance that he doesn't have a major injury and that he isn't risking further injury by pitching.
Even in advance of his meeting with Dr. Andrews, Buchholz continued his throwing program by playing catch with one of the Red Sox's trainers.
"I think given all Clay has dealt with -- the stop and start of this process and the rehab associated with the shoulder, neck, all that -- as I've said many times, he's extremely frustrated with it," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "As it seemed like he was turning the corner on the trip when we went through Seattle and the throwing that he was doing, it hasn't [cleared up].
"So, more than anything, this will enable him to get some verification and clarification through Dr. Andrews to put his mind at ease. And that's as important as anything that he's dealing with from a physical standpoint."
The Red Sox's medical staff has been in touch with Andrews and sent him some imaging of Buchholz.
"This is just a chance to get in front of him, for Andrews to examine him physically rather than just viewing MRI images, so until that exam takes place, that's where things are," said Farrell.
This injury has been a tough one for the Red Sox and Buchholz to get a handle on. Multiple times, the right-hander seemed on the verge of a return, only to have to put on the brakes.
"Where the frustration lies is that when he's been able to throw long toss aggressively, there's been no issue," Farrell said. "When he's gotten on the mound, there's been freedom in some of those bullpens. It's been that repetitive and cumulative throwing where he's felt some of the discomfort start to return, and that's where he stopped. If it can be confirmed that he's not going to put himself at further risk, then OK, let's continue on."