BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was released from the hospital late Tuesday night and was back in the clubhouse Wednesday morning after a bout of esophagitis that led to a gastrointestinal bleed.
Buchholz spent five days at Massachusetts General Hospital, including a stint in the ICU, where he received “three or four pints of blood” along with IVs and other medications.
“It was really scary,” he said. “I’ve never felt the urge to pass out every time you stand up and I really didn’t know what was going on. When the doctor said, ‘Come to my office and we’ll check you out’ and I said, ‘I can’t get there. I can’t walk.’ It was pretty scary for about two days. I think they tried to downplay it, but when you’re laying in ICU, where I’m from that means stuff’s not going really well.
"When I got out of there the doctors were up front, saying it wasn’t life-threatening at this point. They just had to keep me in the hospital to make sure I wasn’t losing any more blood,” he said.
Buchholz said he still doesn’t know what caused the bleeding and will undergo some more testing this week.
"They still haven’t put a finger on what happened or what caused it,” Buchholz said.
He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 24 (retroactive to June 20) and he said Wednesday that doesn’t know when he’ll be able to return.
A major league source told ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes on Tuesday night that the club is concerned about a tear "near the esophagus," and the possibility of infection. Buchholz is not expected back until after the All-Star break, the source said.
“It’s all on the feel right now,” he said. “It depends how my body’s gonna feel getting out and starting to throw and move around. I need to get my legs back underneath me right now, so it’s going to take as long as it has to take, I guess. I’m not going to push myself to get back in any earlier than I feel like I need to.”
Buchholz is 8-2 with a 5.53 ERA in 14 starts this season.
The already-lanky Buchholz lost a few pounds and wasn’t able to eat anything solid for the first 72 hours he was in the hospital because of the situation.
He first began to feel ill last Wednesday and stayed home on Thursday. He was admitted on Friday and was released around 11:30 Tuesday night.
“I feel a lot better,” Buchholz said on Wednesday. “It was a struggle for a couple of days. It’s good to be back. I’ve felt good the last two or three days, but they were doing some extra testing and had to keep me a few extra hours. I feel good but obviously have to start slow.”
When the Red Sox travel to the West Coast for their next road trip through Seattle and Oakland, Buchholz will remain in Boston.
“I’m going to sort of ease my way back into everything,” Buchholz said. “Obviously I won’t do a whole lot of running or anything, I don’t think my blood count is up to where it needs to be for the everyday activity we do here, so I’ll start slow and get my legs underneath me and go from there.”
Now that he’s feeling better, Buchholz joked that he hates the month of June. Last season during the interleague schedule was when he suffered his season-ending back injury. In 2010 during interleague play, he suffered a hamstring injury.
“My Junes aren’t good the last three years,” he said. “I’ve had some bad Junes. Mr. [John] Henry and Mr. [Larry] Lucchino came in to see me [Tuesday] and I told them, ‘Guys, I’m gonna try to hold off on June next year.’ Hopefully everything is done and over with and I can get back to playing shape, start throwing and go from there.”