NEW YORK -- Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, the team's ace during the early part of the season, fired 3 2/3 innings in his final rehab appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday night.
Pitching in a playoff game at Rochester, Buchholz gave up four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out five. He threw 71 pitches, 52 of them for strikes.
Buchholz, who went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts before being sidelined with a right bursa sac strain, is expected to rejoin Boston's rotation next week during a three-game road series against the Rays.
Manager John Farrell confirmed that someone will have to come out of the rotation to make way for Buchholz, but he wasn't ready to make an announcement before Thursday's game against the Yankees.
"We've not met internally to say who that's going to be removed from the rotation nor have we met with the individual it would affect," Farrell said. "We've waited just to get through tonight and to assess where [Buchholz] is at physically and from a fundamental standpoint, and we'll go from there."
Ryan Dempster, who defeated the Tigers on Wednesday night, would seem to be the likeliest candidate to come out of the rotation.