Buchholz could miss rest of season

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 8:13 PM ET

BOSTON - Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz could miss the remainder of the season because of his continuing lower back issues.

Buchholz, who has not pitched since June 16, visited a specialist Monday for another opinion on his injury.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona didn't offer an update prior to the team's game with the Indians, saying only that the pitcher saw specialist Robert Watkins for a lower back strain and the findings of the appointment were not currently known.

Earlier, Comcast SportsNet New England reported that the right-hander has a stress fracture in his lower back and could be sidelined through at least the rest of the regular season.

The report added that a return for the postseason hasn't been ruled out.

"The appointment's already been done," Francona said. "Now, we need to let Dr. Watkins [and] all the medical people talk to Theo (Epstein), have a chance to sit and meet and talk, and kind of sift through things.

"Maybe we'll have something later tonight. At the latest, I would assume we'll have something tomorrow."

On Sunday, Buchholz was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. That move also freed up a roster spot for pitcher Erik Bedard, who was acquired just before the trade deadline from Seattle.

Buchholz was initially placed on the disabled list on June 19 with a lower back strain. The Red Sox then updated his status the first week of July and called it a stress reaction in his lower back.

Last Monday, Buchholz threw off a mound and reported some soreness. However, the Comcast SportsNet report said he experienced more pain the next day and underwent an MRI exam that revealed the severity of the injury.

If the injury is a stress fracture, surgery is not necessary. Rest and rehab is the common treatment.

Buchholz is 6-3 with a 3.48 earned run average in 14 starts this season. He was a 17-game winner last year.


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