Buchholz MRI: no structural damage, no timetable on return

Jan-Christian Sorensen
Contributing Writer

Some news both good and bad came down Thursday afternoon regarding the health of Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz.

According to ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes, Sox manager John Farrell said Buchholz’s MRI on Wednesday revealed the righthander is suffering from bursitis in his throwing shoulder but showed no structural damage. The hurler will remain on the shelf until the inflammation clears up, which might take a week.

The diagnosis likely means Buchholz will not return to the mound before the All-Star Break in July. Whenever he’s pain-free, he’ll need to ramp up his throwing regimen and likely take the mound for at least one minor-league rehab start before returning to the big-league club.

The Buchholz injury odyssey began in late May, when he was forced to skip a start with a sore AC joint in his pitching shoulder, and had to leave his last start on June 8 against the Angels in the sixth inning because of neck stiffness that could have been related to the initial AC joint issues.

On Wednesday Buchholz threw close to 20 pitches in a bullpen session at Fenway for the first time in weeks, but quickly shut it down, walking off the mound and reportedly saying “It’s not ready.”

“It’s not something that’s a terrible feeling,” said Buchholz. “It’s just I want it to be gone. I don’t feel like pitching and going out two starts and having it flare up again. I’m going to stand strong before I pitch again or before I get off a mound in a game situation, I’m not going to feel anything. That’s where we are right now.”

Easy Does It will be the mandate, and for good reason: Buchholz has been Boston’s most consistent starter this season, putting together a sparkling 9-0 record in 12 starts with an ERA of 1.71.

Twitter: @jan_doh