BOSTON -- Right-hander Clay Buchholz got just the piece of encouraging news he was looking for when he visited with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., on Monday.
There is nothing significantly wrong with Buchholz's right shoulder or neck. The pain he feels when he tries to throw off the mound is normal considering the time he has missed.
Andrews had basically the same diagnosis as Boston's medical staff -- Buchholz is just recovering from inflammation.
Now that Buchholz has heard that news from two sources, he should have more self-assurance in the final phases of his rehab.
"Most important, Clay comes back with a little more peace of mind, and he'll continue on the throwing program that's been already put in place," said manager John Farrell. "He's coming off a good day of throwing yesterday -- out to 100 feet with greater intensity. He's traveling back here tonight, so he'll be at the park tomorrow."
Buchholz last pitched for the Red Sox on June 8, running his record to 9-0 in 12 starts.
Farrell estimated that Buchholz will need to throw three bullpen sessions and a simulated game in front of the Red Sox before he leaves for a Minor League rehab assignment.
"He's got more of an understanding of what he's experienced in the progression of the throwing that he's done to date since being put on the DL," Farrell said. "That assurance that the discomfort he's feeling is not injury-related, it's more about getting back into game shape, so I would think there would be more readiness on his part to push through that."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less