Buchholz might throw off mound Tuesday

HOUSTON -- Manager John Farrell said on Monday the team is hopeful that Clay Buchholz will incorporate mound work into a workout on Tuesday, which would be a significant step in his rehab from a right shoulder injury.

Buchholz has not thrown from a mound since prior to the All-Star break. Buchholz has not made a start since June 8.

“The fact is that he’s entering the next phase, which is a positive,” Farrell said.

In other pregame news, Farrell said reliever Matt Thornton is day-to-day with a “right oblique issue,” which is the same term he used to describe the injury on Sunday.

Farrell said that tests from the training staff were positive, but that there is still soreness in his right side. Thornton left Sunday’s game after throwing just six pitches in the eighth inning.

“He’s still sore,” Farrell said. “If there’s any potential roster movement, that’s going to come to a head here in the next couple of days.”

Reliever Franklin Morales is scheduled for a two-inning outing on Tuesday as he continues his rehab assignment in Pawtucket. Morales hasn’t allowed a hit and has struck out six in three rehab appearances, and Farrell hinted that his return might be imminent.

“What we find out about Matt on his exam tomorrow will have a direct impact on [Morales'] next outing, as far as how long it is and where it will be,” Farrell said.

Catcher David Ross, who accompanied the team to Houston to serve as a bullpen catcher, will see MLB concussion specialist Dr. Micky Collins on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Ross has missed 52 games after sustaining two concussions. If cleared by Dr. Collins, the veteran catcher, 36, will begin his rehab assignment immediately.