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Buchholz may get second opinion on neck, back

BOSTON -- After being looked at by the Red Sox's medical staff, right-hander Clay Buchholz resumed playing catch on Friday after a brief shutdown period over the All-Star break.

There was no MRI given to Buchholz, and the club continues to hope that the discomfort he has been feeling in his neck and the upper portion of his back shoulder subside in the near future.

General manager Ben Cherington mentioned that Buchholz could get a second opinion.

Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on June 8. He had been on the best run of his career, going 9-0 in his 12 starts.

Several times, Buchholz has ramped back up by playing catch and advanced to bullpen work. But when he gets to the mound, he usually starts to feel the symptoms recur.

"I think Clay is frustrated, because he wants to be out there pitching and competing," said Cherington. "Obviously he was having a great year. When a guy is doing that well on the field, there's no way he doesn't want to be out there.

"I know he's frustrated; I think, secondarily, we're frustrated, because we want him out there, too. As much as we want him out there, we've got to continue to be patient, listen to what he's saying.

"He may get another opinion. just try gathering more information and hopefully put his mind at ease as to what's going on. He knows his body better than anyone else, and he's going to tell us when he's ready to ramp it up, and we hope that's soon. And based on everything we know, we still think that will be soon. It hasn't happened yet, and that's a source of frustration for him, and to some degree, for all of us."

With less than two weeks before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the uncertainty with Buchholz is just another uncertainty for Cherington.

"I think we're 20-14 since his last start, so again, getting back to the point before, a lot of good things happened with the team. We've proven we can win without any one particular guy," said Cherington. "But obviously we'd like to have him back earlier. We're a better team with him. And we still hope he is out there for the better part of the remainder of the season.

"If for some reason that doesn't happen, then again, we'll just have to adjust. We've had guys who have stepped up before. We've had guys that we think are capable of stepping up and being good starters at the Major League level. And we just have to see how it goes. We hope to have more clarity on that in the next couple days."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz