"Everything that he's going through right now is indicating that he will start on Sunday," Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to Game 2 on Thursday. "There's been nothing that has happened since we spoke [Wednesday] here or with Clay that would indicate otherwise. So we fully expect him to go."
Buchholz missed three months of the regular season with neck and shoulder issues before returning to make four starts in September and three postseason starts. His velocity has diminished and he has worn down late in each of those starts, giving up a combined 12 runs and 25 hits in 21 2/3 innings. He has thrown fewer than 90 pitches in each of his past two outings.
Buchholz said he has undergone strength tests and has complained about a constant tightness.
"It's just a little dead at certain points," he said after Wednesday's 8-1 Red Sox victory in Game 1. "It's not like a pinpoint straight spot where I can say, 'Yeah, there it is.' It's just general."
He went on to describe it as "just a feeling you don't like feeling going into the World Series. It's not out of the ordinary, at the same time this is when you want to be at your best and that's what I'm trying to get back to."
Jake Peavy will go in Game 3, leaving Buchholz with just one remaining start the rest of the way. Peavy would be lined up to pitch a potential Game 7, as well.
"After we went through some work today, [Buchholz] did throw a little bit in the outfield, we'll probably look to give him every extra day we can, and that would point to Sunday being Game 4," Farrell said Wednesday night.
Buchholz, who last pitched Oct. 19, said the fatigue he is currently feeling is different than the discomfort that shelved him for most of the season. He also said he's not concerned.
"It's nothing like what I had to take that long break during the season," Buchholz said. "It's nothing to that extent. When I got hurt during the season, I threw a pitch and said, 'OK, I don't think I can throw another one.' I started feeling like this in the second inning the other night and ended up going into the sixth.
"My outlook on it is for me to take a couple of days of treatment and rest, pumping in the fluids and keeping the anti-inflammatories in my system. I'll be ready to pitch on Sunday."
Farrell is confident he will have insurance in the event Buchholz is unable to go deep into Sunday's start.
"We know that we've got multiple guys down there who can go multiple innings," he said Thursday. "(Ryan) Dempster being one, (Felix) Doubront another. If we have to piece it together, we'll adjust accordingly. To say that we're going to have a guy standing there to warm up along side of Clay, that won't happen."
Information from ESPNBoston.com contributor Tony Lee was used in this report.