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MRI on Clay Buchholz’s shoulder shows ‘no structural damage’

06.27.13 at 6:42 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz will go through a brief shutdown period following an MRI that showed “no structural damage” in his injured shoulder. Red Sox manager John Farrell noted that the MRI showed bursa sac swelling to go along with the previously discussed trapezius strain.

“I think [the lack of structural damage] is the most encouraging thing at this point,” Farrell said. “As I mentioned yesterday, he had two good work days with more intense throwing. So there are small amounts of improvement, but yet we have got to take a little bit of a step back here before we pick it back up again.

“I don’t have the description of the anatomy to know what takes place at what point or what the exact body part is. But there is inflammation in there that is causing the restriction… It was compared to previous MRIs that Clay has undergone and there has been consistencies throughout that which are clean.”

Buchholz’s discomfort is coming as he decelerates or follows through according to Farrell. The team is not going to rush Buchholz back though — as this injury appears to be lingering longer than expected — and will put him on a pitching program that will include one or two rehab starts.

“We are hopeful sometime on the weekend that we will put a ball back in his hand, and then we will take him through more gradual steps,” Farrell said. “In the past we have kind of reacted on how he felt on a given day. There will be more structure as far as number of throws and prescribed distances just so we can track it more regularly in advance of getting back on the mound.”

Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA) has been the best pitcher in the starting rotation this season, and his loss has put a strain on the rest of the staff. Boston is 9-8 since Buchholz’s injury and its pitching staff has a 4.76 ERA over that span. Farrell said that all of the time off for Buchholz is frustrating the 28-year-old.

“He is a fierce competitor and wants to be on the mound.” Farrell said. “As well as he has been pitching this year, I think everybody in our organization wants him on the mound. … I think coming out of yesterday there is a lot more peace of mind knowing that there is nothing structurally going on here and it looks to be something that will be dealt with in a very near term.”

Farrell said he has not ruled Buchholz out to return before the All-Star break.

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