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Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz on elbow injury: ‘As much of a relief as it is, it’s probably more frustrating’

07.11.15 at 4:59 pm ET
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It appears Clay Buchholz has dodged a major bullet.

The Red Sox right-hander, who left Friday’s start against the Yankees in the fourth inning with elbow tightness, was diagnosed with a flexor strain and will go on the disabled list, where the hope is that he can heal simply through rest.

“As much of a relief as it is, it’s probably more frustrating,” Buchholz said on Saturday. “At least it’s not going to be a long stay as far as the DL goes.”

“It’s always a relief,” Buchholz added. “You never want to be out 16-18 months with the surgery. That was a relief, knowing that. But along the same lines, the team was on a pretty good run and I felt like I was doing pretty good out there, too, so it always stinks whenever something comes up.”

Buchholz said an initial MRI revealed no damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, an injury which could have required season-ending Tommy John surgery. He said doctors will re-examine him in 24-72 hours, after he cools down.

He also said the doctors told him his UCL was intact.

“The doctor told me it looks like a doctor’s ligament, somebody’s that’s never played baseball before,” Buchholz said. “And that’s what I’ve been told the last three times I’ve had an MRI on my elbow.”

Buchholz left in the fourth after throwing a cut fastball to Stephen Drew, but he first noticed something amiss while striking out Brett Gardner in the third on what was supposed to be an elevated fastball, but instead darted down for strike three.

“And then we got out of that inning, when I got out for the next inning, I probably shouldn’t even have started that inning,” Buchholz said.

With Brian Johnson summoned to replace him, Buchholz will now rest and hope that his arm heals on its own. He’s fortunate the injury didn’t turn out worse. He has already missed time in his career with a torn hamstring, a bad back, and a sore shoulder.

“From an injury standpoint, that’s what you always think about,” he said. “I went through the same thing with my shoulder. You always think the worst right when it happens.  I started running through in my head, how did it happen? It wasn’t one pitch, it wasn’t a pop. That sort of makes you feel a little bit better about the situation, but until you get images of it, you don’t really know. Obviously after they read the images, it’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s the best thing that could’ve come out of it.”

Buchholz (7-7, 3.26) doesn’t believe he’s snakebitten.

“The other things weren’t even really baseball-related,” he said. “I was hitting for the first time in six years and running the bases and tore my hamstring. By doing that and starting to pitch probably a little bit before I was ready, I hurt my back. And then the shoulder came, and the stomach issue with the medicine I was taking. Only the last two times have been baseball-related or arm-related.”

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