NEW YORK -- In a perfect world, Clay Buchholz could have spent All-Star media day talking about the best pitching stretch of his life, when he reeled off a 9-0 record and a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts.
Instead, the right-hander was asked mostly about his frustrating neck injury, which continues to leave great uncertainty about when he will take the ball again for the Red Sox.
Buchholz threw a bullpen session on Sunday in Oakland and admitted that he still doesn't feel right.
"My mindset going into that one since I had the break to work with was to go in, try to up the intensity, see where we're at," Buchholz said. "And it's still a little sore. I didn't want to push it too far. So I slowed it back down, finished the number of pitches that I wanted to get to. And moving into the break that was our deciding factor, just take a break and take it as a break and not really mess with it and get back to it when we get back there."
The right-hander would like to pitch a simulated game before he makes a rehab start. But he can't do that until all the symptoms clear.
"This is all going on feel, how I feel, whenever I throw another bullpen, how it leads up to that," said Buchholz. "The first day that I feel like, 'OK, I'm pretty much normal now,' that's when I'm going to ramp up and do what I got to do."
Originally, the Red Sox thought they'd have Buchholz back in the rotation by around July 24. But that might be optimistic at this point.
The last time Buchholz pitched for Boston was June 8.
"Pretty tough, frustrating for sure," Buchholz said. "I said it all along, at least all the other guys are going out there and doing their jobs, like the [Brandon] Workmans that come up and throw. That was awesome to watch yesterday. It would be a lot tougher if everything wasn't going as we want to.
"If all the guys are going out there and not throwing the ball well or getting hit around a little bit, that would make it a little bit tougher to sit back and watch. We got everybody going out there and doing their job. That's why I'm going to keep it to being 100 percent before I come back."
In the meantime, Buchholz thinks he will be able to enjoy his second All-Star experience, even though he can't pitch in the game.
"That's why I came here," said Buchholz. "People were like, 'Are you still going to go?' You can't not go to this. You don't know how many times this is going to happen in your career. I never expected it to happen the first time. To happen twice, it's definitely a special feeling to be around the guys that you watch on TV or been watching on TV for a long time. It's something that not everybody gets to experience, and I'm going to have fun with it."
Buchholz just hopes that he'll also be able to experience the fun of pitching sooner rather than later.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.