Buchholz: 'I want to be out there'

BOSTON -- Sidelined since early June by a strained bursa sac in his right shoulder, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz said Thursday that he doesn’t want anyone to think he’s soft.

“People are saying I’m weak. I want to be out there. I was having the best year of my baseball career,” he said Thursday afternoon.

Prior to his injury, which he said occurred during his last start on June 8 against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park, Buchholz was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA.

Buchholz admitted that without knowing exactly what he was dealing with when he first suffered the injury, he originally attempted to throw through the pain and discomfort, but that only made it worse. He visited with Dr. James Andrews on June 17, and said he believes his current treatment is working well and he’s optimistic he’ll return to the rotation as soon as he’s healthy.

He’s been throwing on flat ground, and Thursday served as a recovery day for Buchholz before he’ll begin to ramp it back up on Friday. He’s scheduled to play long toss and throw again on flat ground.

“Hopefully [Friday] I’ll ramp up the intensity as far as the velocity on the throws and see how the body responds to that,” Buchholz said. “If everything goes well there, that’s when I can start getting off the mound.”

Red Sox manger John Farrell said an “aggressive crow hop” will serve as a precursor for Buchholz to get on the mound.

“Overall it’s been frustrating,” Buchholz said. “I want to be out there pitching as much as anybody else does. Going through what I’ve gone through, feeling like the days I’ve felt good, as a whole, I think we tried to rush it a little too quick at some points. That was the reason why I was set back after that.”

Buchholz had dealt with his share of injuries the last few seasons, including a back strain and shoulder weakness. His current injury, which Andrews confirmed as inflammation of the bursa sac, is something Buchholz has never dealt with in his career.

“Stuff like this, I’ve never had to deal with it. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with something like this, and not really having a feel for it and not knowing really how much time to take off and let all the inflammation get out of it,” he said. “Whenever I’ve felt good, I wanted it to happen right then, and obviously the front office did, too.”

His status and uncertainty was one of the reasons why Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington traded for veteran starter Jake Peavy on Tuesday. Farrell announced Thursday that Peavy will make his Red Sox debut on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Fenway Park.

As frustrated as Buchholz is with his situation, the fact that Peavy is in the mix and the Red Sox entered Thursday’s game in first place in the AL East make it a little easier to handle.

“Given the situation we’re in right now and everybody’s throwing the ball well, and getting Peavy as an addition, I think that sort of takes a little bit of stress off of everybody,” Buchholz said. “It’s been almost two months for me, so I don’t think there’s any reason to try to rush it now given everybody is throwing the ball well and we’ve made a good addition to the team, too.”