Buchholz won't return until after break

PHILADELPHIA -- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein confirmed what Clay Buchholz told reporters before Wednesday night's game, that the right-hander will not be coming off the disabled list until after the All-Star break.

Buchholz is eligible to come off the DL Saturday in Houston, but the Sox prefer to wait until they're satisfied his lower back strain is fully healed.

"He's got a muscle strain that is pretty limited in scope,'' Epstein said. "He only feels it at a certain point of his delivery. The consensus is this is something we have to knock out, and even if it feels almost all the way gone, not to push it until it's all the way gone.

"We're going to go slow with this one, make sure he's 100 percent, before he gets back on the mound. Things would have to improve pretty quickly here for him to have a chance to [be activated before the All-Star break].''