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Red Sox hope Buchholz will start on Sunday

Red Sox hope Buchholz will start on Sunday

Red Sox hope Buchholz will start on Sunday play video for Red Sox hope Buchholz will start on Sunday

ST. PETERSBURG -- Clay Buchholz feels improvement in his ailing neck and could start Sunday's road trip finale, against the Orioles.

If he can pitch then, he won't miss a turn in the rotation, and instead would start just two days earlier than originally scheduled.

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"He continues to improve," said manager John Farrell. "We'll likely put a ball in his hand tomorrow to get his arm moving, to see how he feels, with the intent -- and the hopeful intent -- that he would throw [a bullpen session] on Friday. That's best-case scenario at this point. If he does get off the mound with no issues, he would definitely be a candidate for Sunday."

It isn't a be-all-end-all scenario for Buchholz to return by Sunday. Jon Lester could actually make that start on regular rest, which means the Sox could hold Buchholz back until Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Rays if need be.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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