Red Sox manager Terry Francona confirmed that pitcher Clay Buchholz is dealing with a stress fracture in his back, but said the right-hander has not been ruled out for the season.
Francona said Buchholz will need to clear a progressive set of hurdles in a five-step rehabilitation program before he can pitch again. There is no timetable on when Buchholz could do so, though Francona made it clear that the injury is not career-threatening.
Francona said Buchholz had an existing stress reaction before he suffered a muscular strain in his lower back in June. Buchholz was feeling better when he threw a side session in the bullpen last Monday, but he didn’t recover as well as the Sox had hoped. That led him to visit Dr. Thomas Watkins yesterday in Los Angeles, where the diagnosis of a stress fracture was confirmed.
The Sox kept the news of Buchholz’ setback under wraps last week because they didn’t want to hurt their leverage in trade talks before Sunday’s non-waiver deadline. The Sox were able to land starter Erik Bedard from Seattle at the deadline, and the left-hander will make his debut on Thursday.