- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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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 some time in intensive care, 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,' 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 upfront, 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."
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.
The right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 24, retroactive to June 20, and said Wednesday that he doesn't know when he'll be able to pitch again.
A major league source told ESPNBoston.com'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," Buchholz 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 lanky pitcher lost a few pounds and wasn't able to eat solid food for the first 72 hours he was in the hospital because of his condition. He first began to feel ill last Wednesday and stayed home Thursday, then was admitted Friday and not released until around 11:30 Tuesday night.
"I feel a lot better," Buchholz said 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 a road trip through Seattle and Oakland, Buchholz will remain in Boston.
"I'm going to sort of ease my way back into everything," he 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 June. Last season during the interleague portion of the season, he suffered a season-ending back injury. In 2010 during interleague play, he injured a hamstring.
"My Junes aren't good the last three years," he said. "I've had some bad Junes. Mr. Henry and Mr. 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."