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Clay Buchholz to Pitch for PawSox Friday and Other Red Sox Injury Updates

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If the Red Sox hope to get back in the thick of the postseason hunt in 2014, they're going to have to get back to full strength as quickly as possible.

Let's take a look at the walking wounded and see how close they are to returning to big league action.

-- Embattled starter Clay Buchholz will make his first rehab start for the PawSox Friday night.

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"He's going to start in Pawtucket on Friday, and we're hopeful and planning to get five innings out of him on Friday," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He'll throw his bullpen here [in Baltimore] with us before meeting up in Pawtucket."

Buchholz threw in a 48 pitch simulated game in Detroit on Sunday. The lanky righty has struggled mightily all season and eventually landed on the DL on May 27 with what the team said was a hyperextended left knee.

Farrell would not say how many rehab starts were planned for Buchholz at this point but the hope is that Buchholz can go five innings on Friday.

-- Felix Doubront made a rehab start for the PawSox this afternoon against Triple-A Louisville. Doubront went 4 2/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits along with a walk and three strikeouts. The Sox southpaw starter threw 75 pitches, 44 for strikes.

During a game against the Blue Jays on May 20, Farrell pulled Doubront in the fifth inning because of an injury to the starter's left shoulder. Doubront went on the DL the next day. The 26-year-old lefty said he bumped his throwing shoulder on a car door before the start against the Jays,

-- Stephen Drew missed Monday night's game in Baltimore with right oblique soreness and is day-to-day.

"He's feeling some soreness and tightness in the right oblique," Farrell said Monday. "He felt it in the last at-bat [Sunday] night when he grounded out to shortstop. Believe me, we'd love to have him in there because of the success against Norris. Precautionary, but we've got to hold him out right now."

Drew is 1-for-14 since returning to the Red Sox, and has not faced a lefthander as Jonathan Herrera has started at short in his place.

-- Mike Carp, who suffered a stress fracture his right foot, is just beginning some range-of-motion work according to Farrell. No timetable is set for his return.

Carp sustained the injury via a curveball off his foot from Braves reliever David Hale last month.

-- Will Middlebrooks held a bat on Sunday for the first time since he fractured his right index finger in a game against the Tigers.

"Will feels like the range of motion is continuing," Farrell said.

Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day DL on May 17.

-- Shane Victorino remains on the DL with a right hamstring strain.

The Red Sox are bringing Victorino along slowly as they vowed to be cautious with the right fielder this time around.

Victorino went on the DL for a strained right hamstring for the second time this season on May 24. He suffered the injury in spring training and originally went on the DL May 30 before coming off on April 20. No timetable is set for his return.