Buchholz close to throwing off mound again

Buchholz close to throwing off mound again

ST. PETERSBURG -- Injured right-hander Clay Buchholz made 70 throws from 120 feet in a session before Friday's game at Tropicana Field.

"He had a really good day," manager Terry Francona said when asked about Buchholz's progress in his rehabilitation from a stress fracture in his back. "It's encouraging when he starts getting out that far and he still feels better and better. I think it's good news he's tolerated everything so well."

The next step is for Buchholz to toss from the mound, which Francona anticipates could occur sooner than originally anticipated. If all goes well, then Buchholz might be able to rejoin the team before the regular season ends.

"That will be huge," Francona said. "That will be the biggest test, because that's where it hurt before. Tomorrow, we'll back off a little bit and then we'll start putting a program together for the next couple of weeks."

If all goes well, Boston fans could see Buchholz pitching again this year.

"If he feels well, him pitching in our season hasn't been ruled out," Francona said. "The one thing that we want him to do is go home from this season feeling good so he can have normal workouts. That's kind of where we're at."