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Buchholz: This is the biggest step in the right direction so far

Posted by Nicole Auerbach  July 25, 2011 04:55 PM

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Clay Buchholz threw 30 pitches during his bullpen session this afternoon. He was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 17 with a lower back strain. Buchholz has had a few setbacks over the last month, but today wasn't one of them.

"I think this is the biggest step in the right direction so far in this process," Buchholz said. "I don't feel like there was any hitch in the delivery. It was what I wanted to go out there and do.

"I've pitched with pain before. If it's not overbearing, that's what I'm going to do."

Buchholz estimated that he felt 75-80 percent healthy. He also said he threw all of his pitches -- "mostly fastballs, spun a few curveballs, changeups, and a couple of cutters."

"There's still a little soreness coming off after I threw," Buchholz said. "I sat down for about 10 minutes, did a couple of stretches, and it felt better."

Buchholz said he'd take Tuesday off, throw lightly Wednesday, and maybe throw another bullpen session Thursday. He doesn't have a timetable for a possible return yet.

"I want to do it as quick as possible," he said. "I think it's going to take a couple of starts to get back in it, facing live hitters."

"I want to be ready to go. If it's the middle of August, that's good. If it's September, that's good, too. I want to try to come back and help this team get to the postseason and work our way from there."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was encouraged by Buchholz's session today.

"If you watched him throw, you would never believe he's missed time," Francona said.

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