*UPDATE* MASH Unit: Buchholz to pitch Sunday; Victorino, Middlebrooks on track; Pedroia plays through pain
The Guru Contributing Writer
*UPDATE* The Red Sox announced today that after throwing a brief bullpen session, Clay Buchholz felt no discomfort in his AC joint and is slotted to start Sunday night against the Yankees. Buchholz told reporters after last nights game that he is not concerned about any lingering soreness in his AC joint. Buchholz' start was scratched against Philadelphia Monday. Buchholz said he does not think it's going to be a long-term issue. "I definitely told [manager John Farrell] that I wanted to pitch. But I think they're just going to be cautious. That was their decision." Buchholz is 7-0 with a 1.73 ERA.
The Red Sox are hopeful that Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be ready for activation from the disabled list next week. Victorino could be ready for a minor league rehab over the weekend. "We're hopeful," Farrell said. "We'd like to get at least a couple of days in games before [June 5] rolls around. He's feeling good. He's swinging the bat. Ran today and things are moving in the right direction."
Will Middlebrooks (back) has started swinging a bat and running, as his lower back spasms have calmed down. Middlebrooks is expected to be activated from the disabled list on June 8. Farrell said Wednesday, "He did some running outside. He's been taking some throws on the infield and feels like things have really quieted down in his lower back. We feel like he's on schedule.” Middlebrooks could be activated during the Sox series against the Angels next Saturday.
Dustin Pedroia continues to play through a thumb injury. Pedroia suffered the injury on a head-first slide on opening day against the Yankees. A subsequent MRI revealed a tear in the UCL. The injury normally carries an eight-week recovery period, though doctors told Pedroia that he could play through it if he wanted to deal with the pain. “My mindset is if I'm nicked up, I have to find other ways to perform. That's the way I think about it. Maybe I'm crazy."
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