Report: Buchholz has stress fracture, likely out for season

August, 1, 2011
CHICAGO -- Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz has a stress fracture in his lower back and will most likely miss the rest of the season, according to a report by Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports New England.

The injury was discovered in an MRI administered to Buchholz last week after he experienced discomfort in a bullpen session last Monday, according to the report. Buchholz's next throwing session, which was to have been last Wednesday, was cancelled, and an appointment was made for the pitcher to see Dr. Robert Watkins, a back specialist in Los Angeles.

The club did not reveal that Buchholz had an MRI last week, even though it often does release such information, and as recently as last Friday, manager Terry Francona was referring to the injury as a "muscle strain." Francona, asked last Thursday if the club was concerned that Buchholz would not be able to pitch for the rest of the season, said: "Not right now.

"It's not the simplest muscle strain we've ever seen,'' he said.

Buchholz has been on the disabled list since June 17 with the injury and saw several specialists as he tried to figure out the problem.

After trading for another starting pitcher, left-hander Erik Bedard, minutes before the trading deadline, Epstein hinted that the club did not expect good news after Buchholz visits Watkins on Monday.

"Clearly, we have some concern for Clay," Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said Sunday night. "It's been a couple of months now, which is longer than we expected it to be. We're still awaiting some more feedback and another opinion. I think we have a feel for what might be going on, but Clay is seeing another expert [Robert Watkins] to get his opinion and then we're all going to put our heads together this week.

"I'll refrain from answering in too much detail until we have a chance to talk to Clay and we have a chance to talk things through. … We think we're in the process of getting to the bottom of it, and we're all going to put our heads together early this week and talk about it with Clay before we discuss it publicly."

Buchholz has been on the disabled list since June 17 with a lower back strain.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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