Buchholz throws aggressive side session

Buchholz throws aggressive side session

ST. PETERSBURG -- All-Star right-hander Clay Buchholz threw off the mound on Wednesday for the first time since straining his left hamstring running the bases on June 26.

"He threw a side [session] today and did real well," said manager Terry Francona. "I think he [threw] 44 [pitches], but [it was] a pretty aggressive side [session]. He felt good. He's going to go out and do his agility work and go out for BP. He's doing his lifting now, but he was pretty upbeat about it."

Buchholz will do some running while Boston is in Toronto over the weekend, and if all goes well, he'll throw another side session at Fenway on Wednesday during the team's optional workout. The Red Sox open the second half on July 15, and Buchholz said that he was told he'll likely pitch the second game after the break, if all goes well.

"I feel pretty good," said Buchholz. "We're going in the right direction. It was good just to get the feel of it. I felt fine throwing [on] flat ground, so I had a pretty good idea that I'd feel pretty good."

Just in case Buchholz has a setback, Boston will keep lefty Felix Doubront on the roster through the All-Star break. Doubront filled in for Buchholz on Tuesday against the Rays and kept the Red Sox in the game, giving up five hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings.

By keeping Doubront on the roster, the Red Sox could also use him in the bullpen towards the end of the weekend in Toronto if they run into an emergency situation.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.