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After simulated game, Clay Buchholz now eyeing rehab outings

08.20.13 at 10:52 pm ET
Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

SAN FRANCISCO – Clay Buchholz finally has somewhat of a public timetable.

After throwing a 46-pitch, three-inning simulated game Tuesday at AT&T Park, Buchholz was able to set a tentative schedule to map out his return to the big leagues.

The plan is for Buchholz to pitch another bullpen session Friday before making a minor-league rehab outing Sunday. If all goes as planned, the pitcher would then make another start in the minors before either participating in a third rehab appearance or pitching in an abbreviated major-league stint.

The third rehab outing might be dependent on if Triple-A Pawtucket makes the playoffs, which would extend the PawSox’ season past their regular season finale on Sept. 2. A postseason berth by Pawtucket would allow Buchholz to make another minor-league start.

“It’s obviously taken a lot longer than I wanted it to or expected it to,” said Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since June 8 due to an inflamed bursa sac (trap/shoulder). “But if everything keeps going as everybody wants it to go, the body is going to be well-rested for an opportunity to help these guys and our team make a push here towards the end of the season and get to that postseason.”

Facing Buchholz in the simulated game were David Ross, Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts.

And while Buchholz once again came away from the exercise with a healthy dose of optimism, he also understands building up stamina heading into his return will take a bit more time.

“I don’t want to go out on a three-innings, 50-pitch limit and get into a game where everything’s feeling good and have to get to the point where it’s a tough decision to stay in or come out,” he said. “I definitely want to build up some stamina and obviously throw some more pitches.”

The Red Sox will participate in another simulated game Friday at Dodgers Stadium with both Matt Thornton (oblique) and Ryan Dempster (five-game suspension) taking the mound.

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