Buchholz champing at bit to throw

Right-hander pain free, hopes to pitch again this season

Buchholz champing at bit to throw

BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz isn't climbing the walls just yet, but he is getting close. The righty hasn't been given the clearance to throw yet, even after last week's encouraging follow-up with Dr. James Andrews.

"I'm on the cusp of going a little crazy," said Buchholz, who hasn't pitched since straining his right flexor muscle on July 10.

The good news is that Buchholz no longer feels discomfort in his elbow, which is why he so desperately wants to put a baseball in his hand again.

"I feel better now than I did when I was pitching," Buchholz said. "I just haven't started throwing yet, so that would be the tell-tale sign."

The reason Andrews and the Red Sox have been so conservative with Buchholz's recovery time is a valid one.

"Dr. Andrews, he was really adamant about making sure I take my time with it," Buchholz said. "He said there's nothing structurally wrong, nothing surgery-wise. There's no need for that. But he did say he's seen this same thing turn into surgery if you don't watch it closely."

Buchholz is fighting the clock in his quest to pitch again this season. There are six weeks -- and 41 games -- left, including Friday.

"When we go to Chicago [next week], my agent is in Chicago, so I'll sit down and talk to him about how we're going to move forward," Buchholz said. "I think if we were in a different situation as far as the team goes, we'd probably be moving a little bit quicker."

Buchholz's situation is complicated by his contract. The Red Sox hold a $13 million option on Buchholz for 2016.

The righty would like to throw in a game to give the Red Sox enough assurance to pick up the option. And if the club isn't inclined to pick up the option, Buchholz would like potential suitors on the free-agent market to know he's healthy.

"We haven't determined that," said interim manager Torey Lovullo, when asked if Buchholz will pitch again this season. "We're trying to figure this out."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.