BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz continues to ramp up his throwing program as he recovers from a neck strain that has sidelined him since June 8.
The Red Sox's ace was slated to throw from 90 feet on flat ground prior to Thursday's game, 15 feet further than he did Wednesday. He'll continue to extend back until he's ready to throw off the mound.
"We expect the same type of intensity today with a little bit more distance," manager John Farrell said. "That will be three consecutive days of throwing and tomorrow's a planned no-throw day or just a little light catch day for him. So the next progressive step after Friday would be to get out to 120 feet or 105 feet. We tend to add 15 feet to each throwing session. Most importantly is how he's feeling this morning after a good workday yesterday.
Buchholz will likely need two rehab starts before returning to the roster, making it very unlikely he'll return before the All-Star break. Farrell said the Red Sox will take a cautious approach with Buchholz, who is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA.
The right-hander is optimistic about his progress, saying Wednesday that he feels he has "turned the corner."
"I feel like I'm finally getting close to feeling pretty much normal now," said Buchholz. "So the last few days of throwing are encouraging. Like I said, I'm finally able to clear my head a little bit and go about it as just getting back to getting off the mound."
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.