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Thursday, July 7, 2011
Clay Buchholz: Good news on injury

By Joe McDonald
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz said Thursday night that he received a cortisone shot in his back on Tuesday and he's hoping to begin throwing in some capacity on Sunday before the All-Star break.

Buchholz visited with back specialist Craig Brigham on Tuesday in North Carolina and the doctor found no serious issues other than the strain.

"It's definitely good news," Buchholz said. "Structurally there's no damage. My thoughts going in, I was thinking they were going to tell me something bad, but came out of there in a lot better spirits than I went in, which is good.

"There's nothing on the nerve, it's just a stress reaction on the vertebrae and it was causing the muscle inside my back to fire a little bit," he said. "It's definitely just a muscular thing. I got the injection and he said it's just going to take time for it to heal and I have to work on some core exercises to get that healthy and strong again. As soon as I don't feel it, I'll go from there."

Brigham also gave Buchholz peace of mind that it's not a long-term injury and he could pitch through it once he's not feeling any discomfort.

"It's going to take until I'm comfortable throwing," Buchholz said. "I don't know when that's going to be, but hopefully it's sooner than later."

If he's able to throw on Sunday and has no setbacks, Buchholz is planning on traveling to Tampa a few days before the team arrives there on Thursday after the break.

Buchholz explained that Thursday was his second day off without any physical activity. He continues to receive treatment and he's hoping to start stretching when he gets to the ballpark on Friday.

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins and the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.