Clay Buchholz’s mindset could be best described as “cautiously optimistic.”
Buchholz visited Dr. James Andrews for a precautionary checkup Wednesday, at which point the pitcher learned he could begin a throwing program, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. There’s still no timetable for Buchholz’s return, but the right-hander is hopeful he’ll pitch at some point this season.
“Yeah, I’d like to,” Buchholz told Bradford in Miami. “That’s what I’m going to work for. That’s why I’m here, yeah. Square one.”
Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since July 10, received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his injured right elbow the last time he visited Andrews. The injection added to Buchholz’s recovery time, but neither he nor the team has written off a potential return down the stretch.
Just don’t expect Buchholz to take any unnecessary risks.
“Everything’s good. Apparently it’s a lot more — that area, I wasn’t expecting it to take this long,” Buchholz told Bradford. “It’s just the area you don’t really want to mess with, is what I got from them.”
Buchholz’s initial visit to Andrews this season was an attempt to gain peace of mind. He also visited the renowned surgeon in 2013 while working his way back from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss three months of Boston’s World Series campaign.
According to Buchholz, it typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to build back up following a PRP injection, meaning he’s definitely cutting it close as far as 2015 is concerned.
“Look at the calendar, there’s not a whole lot of days left. I’d like it to be sooner rather than later,” Buchholz said of coming back this season. “That’s part of a pitcher’s body that if you do something too quick, something else is going to take effect from it.”
The Red Sox, who own the American League’s worst record, need to focus on 2016, so perhaps that’ll eventually factor into Buchholz’s recovery plans. The sides just aren’t there yet.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images