BOSTON — Clay Buchholz remained on course in his attempt to return to the mound this season with a successful 32-pitch simulated game Tuesday at Fenway Park.
Although Buchholz threw the other day in the bullpen and has made every milestone along the way as he tries to overcome a stress fracture in his back, he viewed Tuesday’s effort as much more significant.
“Yeah, [returning for a possible playoff appearance] is what I want to do,” he said. “Today was the first step in that direction and everything’s going good.”
Buchholz threw to Jose Iglesias, Ryan Lavarnway, Lars Anderson and Joey Gathright in the session. He will throw again Thursday or Friday, depending on the team’s travel plans to New York.
The right-hander has said all along that the goal is to return for the postseason, but with the club’s chances of that now hanging in the balance, the door to a possible comeback in the final series of the regular season is slightly ajar.
“That’s the team’s call if they want me to come back, get some innings in [against Baltimore],” he said. “Gotta see how this postseason run is going to be and go from there.”
As for watching that postseason run, which has not gone well this month, Buchholz admits it has been difficult from afar.
“Obviously, nobody wants to sit out two and a half months, three months,” he said. “It’s been tough watching the guys go out there. Even when we’re playing good, I want to go out there. It’s tough right now. Like I said, I’m trying to get to the point where I can come back and help this team win.”
Key in that decision-making process will be to see how Buchholz feels tomorrow. He reported no pain whatsoever during or after the session Tuesday, and he’s been pain-free for quite some time now.
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